The Indian fast bowler, Harshal Patel has shown tremendous improvement in his performances since last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). After earning his maiden call-up in Team India, Harshal has almost cemented his place in the national squad for the shortest format of the game and he will be expected to play the T20 World Cup later this year. Harshal was brilliant under the captaincy of Virat Kohli in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB squad during the IPL 2021 and was the purple cap holder last season.
Virat Kohli’s backing has helped in shaping Harshal Patel’s career. He was also present during RCB’s unbox event in Bengaluru where the franchise announced that Faf Du Plessis will be leading the franchise in IPL 2022. During the event, the fast bowler spoke to Hindustan Times and said that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli gave him freedom in their leadership.
Harshal Patel explained, “I have been lucky in the sense that being in Rohit or Virat, they have been very open, very generous in the freedom that they have allowed me to express myself and my skill. At no point have they told me that this is what you have to do and they have always given me that option, told me that ‘you know your game and what to do in each and every situation. You’re not going to be successful all the time but we are going to back you nevertheless.'”
Harshal Patel also shared an incident where Virat Kohli’s invaluable advice helped him in the game against CSK.
Recalling the advice, Harshal Patel said, “After I got hit for 37 in that CSK game, Virat came up to me and said ‘You brought us back into the game by picking up three wickets in the last three overs. You got hit for 37… it happens. You put yourself in difficult situations, you can fail. But if you don’t put yourself there, you are never going to be a valuable player’.”
He further added, “So yes, he understands that aspect of pressure situations, that it can sometimes cause failures. And he has been very supportive of it. Even after that, when I have done well or haven’t, he has been pretty consistent in his approach. So those are the things that are a sign of a great leader and he will continue to be a great leader.”