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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: 'Bindass' Brar, Punjab's latest IPL sensation

The all-rounder emerged from obscurity to walk away with player of the match honours.

IPL 2021: Bindass Brar, Punjabs latest IPL sensation

Rahul Kargal

Published: 1 May 2021 6:42 AM GMT

At 118/5, KL Rahul was running out of partners in the 15th over. Sent in to bat by Virat Kohli, Rahul was looking to switch gears but losing wickets at the other end wasn't helping his cause.

At the fall of Shahrukh Khan's wicket, a tall and lanky left-hander joined Rahul.

17-balls and two big hits later, the leftie had contributed 25 vital runs to the Punjab cause.

Buoyed by his company, Rahul explode at the other end and took Punjab to a strong 179/5.

The batter lending Rahul precious company was Harpreet Brar.

As his name echoed across the airwaves, little did anyone realise that there was more to come.

Stellar strikes

Called into bowl in the 11th over of Bangalore's run-chase, Kohli welcomed Brar with a six.

Unperturbed, Brar stuck back.

Off successive deliveries, he castled Kohli and then the dangerous Maxwell.

But the all-rounder wasn't done just yet.

In his final over, he lured De Villiers into a drive and had him caught at extra cover.

Bangalore's spine was fractured and the writing was on the wall.

Playing just his fourth IPL match in two years, Brar finished the night with figures of 4-1-19-3. That he won the player of the match award was the icing on the cake.

Who is Harpreet Brar?

Born in Moga, Punjab, Brar began his cricketing journey at Roopar. He shone quite early in district tournaments and moved to Mohali thereafter.

Since then, the all-rounder steadily moved up the ranks having represented Punjab at the U-16, U-19, and U-22 levels.

Making the IPL cut, however, was a tough ask for the youngster. Two trials with the Mumbai Indian's yielded nothing and soon, frustration began creeping in.

But in the 2018 Under-23 CK Nayudu Trophy, Brar stamped his authority. From 11 games, he picked up a staggering 56 wickets.

The Punjab franchise pocketed him thereafter for the 2019 season.

That 'blessed' feeling

After an astonishing night, Brar is undoubtedly fleeing 'blessed'.

"My plan against De Villiers was to bowl a touch wider outside off-stump and out of his slot since the ball was gripping a bit. That's why I brought in a slip and had covers to come up slightly. I wanted to bowl a dot but also managed to get a wicket. I am blessed," Brar said.

"My strategy was to hit the right length and not worry even if he hits me for a boundary. If the batsman charges down the track then you alter the length."

"I just wanted to play bindaas (carefree) cricket come what may. I didn't want to take too much stress and play my natural game," he said.

Brar had played three games in the past two seasons but this is the first time that he got wickets in IPL and that too the opposition's top three players.

"It's not that I hadn't played with pressure earlier. I had, but when you don't perform under pressure, you tend to be over burdened with more pressure. I had this in mind that once I get a chance, I will try and win a match for my franchise," he concluded.

The all-rounder is now set to play more games for Punjab this season.

Not bad at all for a youngster who was destined to join Punjab Police or pursue higher studies in Canada had cricket not materialised.

With inputs from ESPNCricinfo, Cricbuzz & PTI

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