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RR vs PBKS: “He’s someone who I see as a competitor”

Harshal Patel has been one of the very few positives for Punjab Kings in an otherwise forgettable campaign in the ongoing Indian Premier League 2024 (IPL 2024).

While PBKS are languishing at the bottom of the points table Harshal Patel is sitting at the top in the Purple Cap list. No one has taken more wickets than him in the ongoing IPL 2024. The right-arm pacer overtook Jasprit Bumrah in the list after taking two wickets against Rajasthan Royals at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium on Wednesday (May 15).

Harshal Patel bowled two brilliant overs towards the end of the innings. In the 18th over, he conceded 8 runs while dismissing Donovan Ferreira. In the final over, he gave away just 6 runs in addition to dismissing a well-set Riyan Parag for 48 on the second ball to help PBKS restrict RR to less than 150.

He finished the game with figures of 2 for 28 runs and is now the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2024. Harshal Patel has picked up 22 wickets so far, two more than second-placed Jasprit Bumrah. With PBKS to play one more game in IPL 2024, the pacer would be looking to add more to his tally.

Harshal Patel on his performance:

Speaking after the fine display against the Royals, Harshal Patel opened up on his performance in the season so far. The fast bowler started by pointing out that the race for the Purple Cap has been a see-saw ride before expressing his admiration for Jasprit Bumrah.

“Has been a see-saw. Keeps going away from me. (On Bumrah) He is someone who I see as a competitor, I aspire to be as good as him,” said Harshal.

He further spoke about the dipping slower delivery that has helped him outfox even the best in the business. Earlier this season, he castled MS Dhoni with the same delivery before using it again to get rid of Parag on Wednesday.

“It is a difficult delivery to execute but once you start executing, it gives you a lot of confidence. If the batter doesn’t pick it, then it increases your chance of getting a wicket. I’ve been bowling it for almost five years now. In the last year and a half, I wasn’t able to execute it consistently so I didn’t try it in the first half of the IPL.

“It gives me so many options at the death, the batters are ready for that slower one and I can sneak in a yorker or a quick length ball. And when you get the batters out, they can’t get that acceleration at the death,” said Harshal.

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