Devdutt Padikkal scored 473 runs in 15 games averaging 31.53 with five fifties. The 20-year-old uncapped batsman is one of just five players to play every game of his team’s IPL campaign.
A lot was spoken about Devdutt Padikkal and his chances of making a mark with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad ahead of IPL 2020, with the team’s Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson, taking a special interest in the left-hander from Karnataka.
Devdutt Padikkal Dreamt To Bat With Virat Kohli
Devdutt Padikkal topped the season’s charts for RCB. The feat is particularly impressive considering that the Bangalore franchise has star batsmen Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the squad.
Skipper Virat Kohli was particularly pleased about how Devdutt Padikkal’s season figured out, and he made his thoughts known after the two shared a 99-run partnership that helped RCB win against Rajasthan Royals at Abu Dhabi. The Indian captain suggested that the southpaw has “some serious talent”, during a post-match interview.
The admiration between the two is mutual, of course, as Devdutt Padikkal revealed that he dreamt of batting alongside his IPL captain in the middle in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.
“It’s special because he (Kohli) is one of the greatest batsmen in the world and to bat with him and learn from him throughout the season was something I was very excited about and I truly enjoyed every minute I spent with him,” Padikkal said.
“I’ve dreamt of it for a long time” – Devdutt Padikkal on IPL debut
Devdutt Padikkal’s performances for Karnataka in the white-ball format saw him bag a place in the RCB side. The maturity is shown by him while wielding the willow over the course of the season realizing that 2019-20 is Devdutt Padikkal’s first full domestic season has held him in good stead.
For both Karnataka and RCB, the past year and a half have been about Devdutt Padikkal showing the world his range of shots. First, he top-scored in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with 609 runs as Karnataka went on to defend their title, with him coming agonizingly close to a semi-final century.
Debdutt Padikkal was under the spotlight once again as his state team set out to make it two in a row in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well. The young opener scored 580 runs in the tournament, which was a whole 161 ahead of CSK’s youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad in second place, as his heroics saw Karnataka retain their title for a second tournament running.
Devdutt Padikkal averages around 59 in List A, 43 in T20s and 35 in first class.
Devdutt Padikkal: Experience In IPL Amazing And Incredible Opportunity To Play Alongside Greats
Devdutt Padikkal’s white-ball performances went a long way in catching the attention of RCB team management ahead of IPL 2020. The opportunity to play the IPL was a dream come true for the young man who had idolized Virat Kohli over the years.
“The experience has been amazing, it was an incredible opportunity to play in the ipl alongside some of the greats of the game. Definitely my debut for RCB is the moment I cherish the most this season because I’ve dreamt of that for a long time,” Padikkal added.
Having been named in RCB’s playing XI for their opening fixture against the SunRisers Hyderabad, Devdutt Padikkal strode out into the middle alongside Aussie skipper, Aaron Finch.
The 20-year-old rested any fears of stage fright, as he scored a 42-ball 56. He went on to prove that the innings was not a fluke either as he notched up four more fifties during the IPL 2020 campaign.
“I always try to give it as much importance in training as I do to my batting” – Devdutt Padikkal on his exceptional fielding
It is only natural that Devdutt Padikkal draws comparisons to some of the very best to have played the game as a youngster just coming into the system. The elegance with which he plays his shots meant viewers could not help but see a little bit of Yuvraj Singh in the young southpaw.
Like Yuvraj Singh, he is a great fielder too as he wowed fans and colleagues alike with some exceptional fielding over the course of the IPL 2020 season.
Whether it is the six he nearly saved with some acrobatics down at long-on, off the bat of Andre Russell at Sharjah or the impressive diving catch he did pull off to dismiss Saurabh Tiwary at Abu Dhabi, Devdutt Padikkal was nothing short of a livewire on the field.
The Kerala born youngster acknowledged the importance of his fielding and the effort that has gone into turning himself into the fielder that he is today.
“Fielding has definitely become as integral to the game as batting and bowling is so I always try to give it as much importance in training as I do to my batting and you can only get better with more practice,” Padikkal told Sportskeeda.
He didn’t make most of the chances for India U-19. Still, performances of the kind that Devdutt Padikkal has put out in his first season at the highest level in India in IPL have to mean that an international appearance is not too far away.