Harshal Vikram Patel
November 23, 1990, Sanand, Gujarat
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
A right-arm seamer with a big outswinger, Harshal Patel could have moved to the USA with his family, but he stayed on in India to pursue cricket. After taking 23 wickets at an impressive average of 11 in the 2008-09 Under-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy, Harshal made his List-A debut for Gujarat in 2008-09. Harshal also played for India in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand and soon bagged an IPL contract with Mumbai Indians.
Unable to find a place in the Gujarat side, Harshal moved to Haryana and made an immediate impact in his debut Ranji Trophy season in 2011-12, running through Karnataka and Rajasthan with eight-fors in the quarter-final and semi-final. He finished that Ranji season with 28 wickets and made his IPL debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Delhi Daredevils in the 2012 edition.
Harshal, however, was largely seen as a back-up seamer in the franchise set-up, instead of a first-choice option. He did not get a game in IPL 2013, but was bought back by the franchise in the 2014 player auction. While his first-class form dipped in between, he made a strong comeback in the 2015-16 season. His tally of 22 wickets in Ranji Trophy 2015-16 added to a haul of 13 wickets in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, in which he also picked up his maiden List A five-for. He was retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the IPL 2016 player auction.
After fighting through a period of self-doubts, Harshal roared back by picking up 52 wickets in nine matches at the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy, breaking left-arm spinner Rajinder Goel's 36-year-old record for the most wickets in a season for Haryana.
But it was in the the 50-over Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy that season where his all-round prowess came to the fore. He picked up 19 wickets at an economy of 7.04, the joint second-most that season, just one behind stopper R Sai Kishore. He also contributed massively with the bat, making 374 runs at an average of 31.16 and a strike rate of 165.48.
Ahead of IPL 2021, he was traded to Royal Challengers Bangalore after a brief stint with Delhi Capitals. It turned out to be a breakthrough year, where he finished with 32 wickets, the joint-most in an IPL season with Dwayne Bravo. His mastery over the dipping yorker and several slower variations earned him plaudits.
The performances were enough to impress the national selectors, and a T20I debut followed against the touring New Zealand side in November 2020. In February 2021, Harshal was bought for a mind-boggling INR 10.75 crore (USD 1.4 million) by Royal Challengers. It was 53.75 times his previous IPL salary.
Batting & Fielding