IPL 2021: Harshal Patel is Going to Be Our Death Bowler, He Has Clarity – Virat Kohli
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli on Friday confirmed that Harshal Patel will continue to be the team’s death overs bowler following the pacer’s five-wicket haul that helped them beat Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 opener. Harshal picked 5 for 27 to keep MI to 159 for 9, which RCB chased down with two wickets in hand.
“We brought Harshal in a trade from Delhi. He is relishing the responsibility and is clear with his plans. He was the difference today. He is going to be our death bowler. As a captain you want players with clarity, and he has that.
“(Kyle) Jamieson started off well, Yuzi was good, Siraj was good too. In T20 cricket, clarity at the top of your mark is all you as for as a captain. Harshal was very clear with that and it was his day today,” Kohli said at the post match presentation.
Kohli revealed the thinking behind batting Glenn Maxwell at No. 4.
“We wanted Maxi to bat at four. Rajat is a very solid player, didn’t see enough of him today. He is an exciting player, plays spin and pace well too. The thinking was that we wanted to give Maxi some balls at the start and not get him slogging rightaway. You saw the result today of him playing 10-15 balls. His innings was the game-changer. Had he stayed in we would’ve finished a couple of overs earlier. The opposition then gets nervous about AB.
“We have depth in the batting which we want to utilize. AB is probably the only one in the team who is so versatile. And he does it on slow wickets what not many can do. In a tricky chase you need experience at the back, and the opposition knows that if he doesn’t get out, the bowlers get in a different headspace.”
Kohli lauded the team work, saying everyone had to chip in to beat a mighty side like Mumbai.
“We won the first match last year as well that we played. It was important to play against the strongest side in the competition and test our side. Everyone was involved in this game, and when you win by two wickets, it means that everyone has gone in and played.”
The Indian captain also spoke about the conditions and the importance of partnerships.
“A lot of options for me as well that helped bringing the game back. The pitch was looking decent in the first half, but to be honest, with the old ball the length ball was difficult to get away. That is why those partnerships between Maxi and me and then between AB and Maxi was really important. It’s not a pitch where you can just hit through the line. You have to be smart with picking the gaps and running hard.
“Playing in Chennai you have to be respectful of that (the ground dimensions). The shot that Pollard got out to, in Wankhede and a couple of other grounds it would’ve sailed into the crowds. We came back well and used the conditions well. They came back well too after losing Rohit early and those last six overs for us were probably the best six we’ve ever had.”