Devdutt Padikkal Idolises Big Game Player Gautam Gambhir
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Devdutt Padikkal Idolises Big Game Player Gautam Gambhir

Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)

Devdutt Padikkal had a breakthrough Indian Premier League (IPL) season last year in UAE and the left-handed opener entered the ongoing edition of the tournament on the back of a successful domestic season.

Prior to the start of this edition of the IPL, Devdutt Padikkal tested positive for Covid-19 and he missed RCB’s opening game against Mumbai Indians. He made his way back into the side for the next two games against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH). In the two matches, he managed to score 36 runs and he would now be hoping to get into his groove.

Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle

Devdutt Padikkal:  Virat Kohli’s Passion And Drive For Cricket Is Remarkable

In an interaction with ANI, Devdutt Padikkal opened up on his goals in the ongoing season, his bond with stalwarts like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

“I do not think so (on him playing the aggressive role since he is opening with Virat). He is such a talented cricketer, he has so much experience, to be playing with him makes my game easier.

“I am really looking forward to having a really good partnership with him. Definitely, Virat’s passion for the game, the drive for the game he has is remarkable, that is something I have really tried to pick up on,” said the 20-year-old.

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB

The left-handed batsman had a good build-up to the IPL after he finished the Vijay Hazare Trophy as the second-highest run-getter. He finished with a tally of 737 runs.

“To be honest, I look at every game as an opportunity to make a mark and that’s what I have continued to do since the past two seasons. That’s why I believe consistency is the most important part of the game right now and that is what I am looking to do, be it the IPL or domestic tournaments,” said Devdutt Padikkal.

“We have a balanced RCB side this season and we have a lot of options in every department. It is great to have such a great combination and that knowledge and experience as well. We can see that there is a real togetherness about the team this season,” he added.

The 20-year-old who plays for Karnataka in domestic cricket signed off IPL 2020 as RCB’s highest run-getter and 8th highest run-getter with 473 runs in 15 IPL matches at an average of 31.53 in his debut season.

He scored 218 runs at an average of 43.60 in six matches for Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and continued with his sublime touch in the Vijay Hazare Trophy amassing 737 runs in 7 matches at an astonishing average of 147.40. His onslaught in the Vijay Hazare Trophy included four back-to-back centuries.

Devdutt Padikkal Idolises Gautam Gambhir And Praises Teammates AB De Villiers And Glenn Maxwell

The talented left-handed opener also spoke about why he idolizes 2011 World Cup-winning hero Gautam Gambhir.

When asked why he idolises Gambhir, Devdutt Padikkal said: “He was a big-game player and it is one thing I really want to emulate because it is in those crunch situations that those big players come out and do well for the side. He always seemed to do that when the team was under pressure and that is something I would want to do.”

Speaking about Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal said: “Maxwell is an amazing cricketer, the shots he plays can change the game on its head. To have such game-changers in the squad is really important. I think AB de Villiers keeps things simple in terms of his batting.

“He does not overcomplicate the situation too much and the sheer skill he has to pull of the shots is remarkable. He is a talented individual and it is great to play alongside him.”

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

When asked about the challenges of the bubble life, Padikkal said: “It does get challenging to stay in bio-bubbles over a long period of time. But at the same time, that’s the need of the hour and it is important that everyone stays safe.”

On Tuesday, global sports brand PUMA signed a long-term partnership deal with Washington Sundar and Devdutt Padikkal. As a result, the duo joins PUMA’s impressive roaster of cricketers including Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.

Commenting on the association, he said: “PUMA is such a global brand and to be part of a brand that is associated with such global superstars, such talented athletes around the world is a great feeling. Hopefully, I can have a long partnership with them. It is great to be acknowledged and know there are people who are there to support and really back you.”

RCB has acquired the services of in-form Mohammed Azharudeen, Rajat Patidar, Daniel Sams, Sachin Baby, Daniel Christian, and Srikar Bharat besides Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson in IPL 2021 auctions and they are atop the table after 3 matches winning all games.