Harshal Patel was undoubtedly one of the hottest properties in the IPL 2022 mega auction. However, that wasn't the case four years ago. At the 2018 mega auction, there wasn't much interest for Patel as he was sold to Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) for a base price of just INR 20 lakhs.
The 31-year-old revealed that at that point, it wasn't about how much money he would get as he wanted game time more than anything else. Harshal Patel also revealed that a few IPL teams assured him that they would bid for him, but none of them did so on auction day.
Speaking on the YouTube show 'Breakfast with Champions', Harshal Patel revealed how mentally tough it was for him to see franchises bailing out after giving him hope. He said:
"(On 2018 auction) I just wanted someone to raise the paddle for me. It's not about the money, I just wanted to play. The ironic thing was there were atleast 3-4 players from different franchises who said they were going to bid for me. But no one did."
"At that time, I felt that this is betrayal, I have been cheated. I was just in this spiral of dark thoughts. So I started the process of building my game all over again."
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Harshal Patel on MS Dhoni's advice to him
Ever since Harshal Patel returned to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), his fortunes have turned around drastically. He became the joint-highest wicket-taker in a single IPL season last year, picking up 32 wickets from just 15 games.
This stunning performance from the 31-year-old earned him a call-up to travel with the Indian team for the 2021 T20 World Cup. Although he was just a net bowler for the side, Patel revealed what advice MS Dhoni gave him when he mentored the Indian team. He stated:
"Mahi bhai said the same thing. I was a net bowler with the Indian team for the T20 World Cup. And I asked him where my vulnerabilities are. 'Where do you think I can get better?' He said, 'Nothing. You have your formula set. All you need to do is learn to read the game better, which you will as you keep on playing. And keep yourself fit.'"
Patel has had another impressive season with RCB so far. It would raise quite a few eyebrows if the 31-year-old doesn't make it into India's first XI for the 2022 T20 World Cup.