Clarity regarding my role given by RCB management benefitted me: Harshal Patel

CHENNAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Harshal Patel on Tuesday said he benefitted from the clarity regarding his role given by the team management two weeks prior to the start of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Harshal had delivered a stunning bowling performance before AB de Villiers’ masterclass took RCB home against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the opening game of IPL. Harshal had picked five wickets (three in the final over) to restrict Rohit Sharma’s side to 159.

“Clarity is always good. It helps you with your mental preparation, it helps you with your skill preparation. Whenever you have clarity, you know whatever situations you are going to face in the game and you can prepare mentally accordingly and in terms of skill so it is always good to have clarity about your role,” said Harshal while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.

When asked how he feels with Virat entrusting him to be the death over specialist, Harshal said: “I wanted to become a bowler or a player who takes on responsibility and the captain is confident enough to put me in those important situations and I look at it as a privilege. It is something I have looked forward to for a very long time and I am very happy that I am being put in those situations now.”

Talking about the performance of the uncapped players in this season, Harsal said: “Most of the teams have started looking at what the bowler is doing in training and practice games. I think it is a good trend people are starting to realise that even the uncapped players are good enough to take the responsibility of bowling at the death. I think we will see more of that going forward.”

In the opening game against Mumbai Indians, Harshal changed the complexion of the game by taking three wickets in the final over of the innings and Mumbai batters did not have any answers to his yorkers and slower balls.

“Obviously, it is very important to start well. The sort of game I had the other night, I did not expect that, to be very honest. I wanted to execute my plans, it was one of those nights where everything came my way, I know it’s a pendulum and bowling at the death, you can win some games for your team but you can also lose some games for your team so I am prepared both ways,” said Harshal.

Before the IPL 2021 season, Harshal was traded by Delhi Capitals to Royal Challengers Bangalore. Talking about this trade, Harshal said: “Not really, I was not involved in that really. It’s a welcome decision from my side because I knew with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in Delhi Capitals, I will not get the opportunities I am getting here. It is great to be in a team where I can showcase my skills and where I have the privilege of being put in difficult situations.”

“I have had massive performance anxiety in the past IPL seasons for this particular reason, you know you are going to get dropped if you have one bad game. It is again a very mental thing, you have to figure out how you get out of that mindset. There is no one solution to this problem, each and every individual has to figure out how to get out of this mindset,” he added.