advice helped Harpreet Brar to dismiss Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers

Harpreet Brar, Punjab Kings spin-bowling all-rounder, revealed how Anil Kumble's 'keep it simple and stick to your basics' advice helped him get the wickets on Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and AB de Villiers in the span of 24 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021.

advice helped Harpreet Brar to dismiss Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers

ot every day, you prize out the wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and Ab de Villiers in a single spell.

In the first leg of Indian Premier League 2021 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Harpreet Brar, Punjab Kings spin-bowling all-rounder, dismissed Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell off consecutive deliveries before also getting AB de Villiers to end with a match-winning 3 for 19. He also made a crucial 17-ball 25 in that match.

However, the tournament was postponed due to Covid-19, but it started a new chapter in Harpreet Brar's life.

"Getting Virat Kohli as my first wicket was just amazing. I never dreamt about it, and he even hit me for a six and a four on the first two balls of my spell. In the next ball, I removed Glenn Maxwell and took Ab de Villiers wicket as well. It just keeps getting better," Harpreet Brar told IndiaToday.In from Dubai.

"On the ground, I didn't feel anything, everyone congratulated me, and we won the match. However, I realized the importance once I got back into the team dressing room," recalled Brar.

The Kumble factor

Harpreet Brar revealed how Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble's advice 'keep it simple and stick to your basics,' boosted his confidence ahead of the match against 'Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"It was my fourth match for the Punjab Kings. I had only played in three games before that in two seasons and had failed to get any wicket. So, there was a bit of nervousness, but gentle advice from Anil Kumble boosted my confidence.

"Anil Kumble has a soft corner for the spinner. Before the match, we (spinners) were practicing in the nets. He came to me and said, keep it simple, Brar, stick to your basics.

"He told me 'every bowler has a spot, where he wants to pitch every ball, be it a finger spinner wrist-spinner or for that matter a fast bowler. So just keep landing your balls in that area and you will eventually get the wickets," said Brar.

Brar, who Punjab Kings picked in the 2018 IPL auction at his base price of Rs 20 lakh, said his team can still qualify for the knockout stage. Punjab Kings are sixth on the points table with six points in eight matches. They will be up against Rajasthan Royals on September 21 in Dubai, when the second leg of the IPL resumes.

"We are very much in the race to qualify for the knockout stage. Therefore, we will try to start from scratch and win the remaining matches," said Brar.

IPL, the game-changer for Brar

IPL has had its own pros and cons since making its debut in 2008. I" has not only changed cricket drastically but also given name to lesser-known players such as Harpreet Brar.

Brar's journey to IPL has been long and unwinding. Interestingly, he played his first IPL match before he could play for the Punjab senior team.

Harpreet had a difficult journey after playing for Punjab U-16. The junior selectors ignored him consistently. At 23, he played his first U-23 season, which was also his last in 2018-19

"My coach Bharati Viz gave me the example of Shubman Gill. He said to me that if you want to play at a bigger stage, you have to perform extraordinarily," said Brar.

Taking inspiration from his coach's words, Brar bagged 56 wickets in the 2018-19 CK Nayudu Trophy, third-highest overall.

In 2018, Brar, before giving his fifth trial for Punjab Kings and decided that if he will not break into the Punjab team or get an IPL contract, he will move to Canada for good.

"Destiny had at least luck in store for me," Brar laughs.

Harpreet, who used to play for Ropar in the Katoch Shield (Punjab's inter-district cricket tournament) and take 40-odd wickets consistently. But in 2018Punjab'swas relegated to the minor districts (second tier), and he switched to Mohali.

"Gurkeerat Singh Mann (Punjab all-rounder) rang me up and asked me if I was interested in playing for Mohali. I agreed and took nine wickets in two matches," he recollects. After A fine show in Katoch Shield, the six-foot-two-inch-tall all-rounder broke into the Punjab U-23 side, and the rest is history.