A trade with Delhi Capitals allowed Royal Challengers Bangalore to strengthen one of their weakest links: death bowling. The 2016 IPL finalists picked up Harshal Patel on a trade from the Capitals and the all-rounder, instantly has turned the season around for the Bangalore-based side. With 26 wickets already in the tournament, which includes a hattrick against Mumbai Indians, Patel has been a force to reckon with in the bowling department.
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir credited RCB’s success this season down to the bowling efforts of the Haryana pacer. Barring the clash against CSK in the first half, Patel has been a constant menace at the death, picking up 19 wickets.
"Harshal Patel has been the bowler of the season. He has bowled the most difficult overs for his side. Bowling death overs continuously against so many great batters in this IPL, and taking 5 wickets in one match and 4 in the other against MI, shows how successful he has been," Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
Since the restart, Yuzvendra Chahal’s form has seen a massive turnaround, with the leg-spinner picking up six wickets in the Middle East.
“Despite having poor stars with the ball in the powerplay, Bangalore managed to bounce back and win their matches. All the credit goes to Harshal Patel and Yuzi Chahal,” Gambhir explained.
"The main issue over the past few years for the RCB was their death bowling. And Harshal has now taken that responsibility on his shoulders single-handedly. That's why he has the Purple Cap as well."
“You can talk about Kohli, AB de Villiers, or Maxwell, but the truth is batters only set the team up but bowlers win you matches. Because if the batters would've won the games, RCB would've won IPL 3 or 4 times,” concluded Gambhir.