CHENNAI, India, (Reuters) – Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli believes Harshal Patel has resolved the woes of the team’s death in the Indian Premier League (IPL) following the sailor’s bowling masterclass in Friday’s victory against champions Mumbai Indians.
Patel claimed three wickets in four balls in the dramatic 20th over and conceded just one run to help limit starry Mumbai to a modest 159-9.
His 5-27 was also the first five-wicket match any bowler managed against five-time champions Mumbai, the most successful team in Twenty20 league history.
“The last six seasons for us, probably the best we’ve ever had,” Kohli told broadcaster Star Sports after Patel scored the winning run to secure their narrow victory in Chennai.
“I think his spelling was the difference in the content of those 20-25 runs at the end. He’s going to be (Bangalore’s designated death bowler), and he likes the responsibility. ”
Among Patel’s victims were Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard who make up the league’s most destructive middle order.
“The wicks he received were not liver fluke wickets,” said Kohli.
“He really wanted the lads to hit where they eventually got caught. That was the landmark of his game, he was very clear in what he wanted to do. ”
Patel, who troubled bats with his clever mix of yorkers and slower deliveries, said finding out early on his role helped prepare him.
“When we first assembled for camp there was a very clear instruction to me that I was going to bowl at least two pellets on death,” the 30-year-old told reporters after collecting the man -a prize game.
“That gave me a lot of clarity and confidence to work on my skills and develop plans against the batters I’m going to face in the death bouts of different teams.”