With 17 wickets at the midway stage when IPL 2021 got suspended, Harshal Patel emerged as the biggest takeaway of the tournament – which has over the years given India stars. Ahead of the tournament, not a lot was talked about the pacer when RCB picked him. Over the years, Harshal Patel has not got a lot of opportunities and that has not helped him.

At 30, the Haryana pacer is turning a new leaf and is no more a backup option.

The pacer recently told how RCB skipper Virat Kohli motivated him. Harshal revealed that Kohli sent him a message personally after he was traded. ‘Welcome back, you are going to play here,’ this is what Kohli texted him and that did Harshal’s confidence a world of good.

Relieved that he can finally showcase his skills, Harshal hailed Kohli revealing that the RCB skipper gives him space to perform. He also said that even if he did not perform in a certain game, Kohli would understand.

“The moment I was traded, Virat sent me a message, “welcome back, you are going to play here”. That made a big impact in my confidence and I realised this is a team where I can finally showcase all my skills. He gives you the space to do your thing. Even if you don’t execute at times he understands better than anybody that on a batter’s day, if they get hold of a bowler, you are going to go for runs,” Harshal told HT.

Harshal was one of the biggest reasons for RCB’s success this season. He picked up wickets at the right time and that gave RCB the advantage in a number of games.