Playing with a free mind the secret to Harpreet’s stellar season debut

The 25-year-old spinner picked up three crucial wickets on Friday to help Punjab Kings get over the line against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Harpreet Brar was picked by Punjab Kings in the 2019 VIVO Indian Premier League auctions, but his game time so far for the franchise has been limited. With stiff competition in the spin bowling department, chances have been at a premium for Harpreet. 

This time around though, Harpreet eagerly gobbled up that chance which came his way, as he broke the back of the Royal Challengers Bangalore middle-order on his 2021 season debut for Punjab Kings. Harpreet picked up the wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB De Villiers as he became the talk of the town on Friday.

The 25-year-old hadn’t managed to pick a wicket in his three previous games in the IPL, but this time around picked three in a single match. In the post match press conference, Brar revealed that a change in mindset helped him perform much better in 2021. 

“There is always pressure when you are playing these big games. In the past also there was pressure on me to perform, but if you aren’t able to deliver then that pressure just keeps increasing,” said Harpeet in the press conference.

“This time around the thought was to play freely, and not put undue pressure on myself. I will just keep things simple and not take too much stress,” added Harpreet. 

Bowling away from the batsman

“My plans were simple. I wanted to keep the ball away from the batsman’s hitting arc and invite them to play the big shots if they wished. The ball was gripping nicely as well,” said Harpreet, revealing his plans behind bowling against some of the best in the world. 

“That was the reason we had positioned a slip, and kept the covers fielder slightly closer to the batsman. The plan was to try and bowl as many dot balls as possible, in the bargain I managed to pick up those wickets. I feel really blessed.”

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