IPL Rising Star: Harpreet Brar, stifling opponents with guile

Image Source : BCCI/IPL Harpreet Brar.

Punjab Kings (PBKS) have traditionally not been a franchise that looks to invest in players for longer periods of time.  They are known to splurge plenty of cash when it comes to the IPL auction to rope in exciting talent but do not back the same talent for long once the performance nosedives.

The franchise once had the likes of KL Rahul, David Miller, Piyush Chawla and Glenn Maxwell among others but Punjab released them after their dip in form.

However, it seems that the tradition is beginning to change and the presence of Harpreet Brar in their dressing room is a testimony to the same.

Punjab acquired the services of Harpreet Brar after paying Rs 20 lakh at the IPL 2019 auction. They then retained him ahead of IPL 2022 by paying INR 3.80 crore – a move that reflected their faith and trust in the left-arm orthodox bowler.

Brar, 28, played just two games in his debut season (IPL 2019) and a solitary game in 2020. He couldn’t bag a wicket in both seasons and was desperate for more opportunities to showcase his talent.

The opportune time arrived finally and Punjab gave him seven games in the 2021 season. Brar impressed straightaway and bagged five wickets while conceding runs at a miserly rate of 6.04.

Content with his performance, Punjab retained him and made him an important part of their spin attack. However, things went a bit downhill for Brar as he could only claim four wickets in five games in the 2022 season while leaking runs at an alarming rate of 9.13.

Unfazed by a mediocre season, Brar came back strongly in 2023 and picked up nine wickets in 13 games at an economy rate of 8.02 runs per over.

Even in IPL 2024, Brar has been quite impressive in containing the batters. In a season where the bat has dominated the ball like never before, Brar is one of the very few bowlers who have conceded less than eight runs per over.

He has bagged six wickets in 11 games for Punjab in the ongoing IPL season at a wonderful economy rate of 7.56.

While Punjab are out of the playoff race already, Harpreet’s stand-out performance will surely be high up on the pecking order, if they reflect on the season and search for positives.