Wily medium-pacer Harshal Patel, who had to miss the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s match against Chennai Super Kings, was immediately felt by captain Faf du Plessis as all his bowlers leaked runs in their fifth game.
The impact of Harshal’s absence could be immediately felt as he was not only one of their leading wicket-takers, but also had an economy of just 5.50 in his 24 overs, which has been the best until now after 21 games of the Season 15 so far.
In his first match against Punjab Kings Harshal went for 36 runs, which they lost. But since then, he has bounced back well with figures of 11/2 against Kolkata Knight Riders, against Rajasthan Royals he got just one wicket but gave only 18 runs and in the last match against Mumbai Indians gave only 23 runs picking up two wickets. His wickets include the dangerous Andre Russell, Rohit Sharma, who can turn the match on its head in matter of few overs.
Patel was also the Purple cap holder for his team last year when he picked up 32 wickets becoming the joint highest wicket-taker along with Dwayne Bravo in the history of IPL. He does the most difficult task in a Twenty20 game, bowling the death overs and most importantly picks up wickets without going for much runs. His absence was felt in the first match he missed when Royal Challengers Bangalore leaked 215/5 in 20 overs with the last 10 overs going for 115 runs where Patel’s guile was missed the most by Du Plessis.