IPL 2021: Kumar Sangakkara Praises Devdutt Padikkal For His Exceptional Innings Of 101*
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IPL 2021: Kumar Sangakkara Praises Devdutt Padikkal For His Exceptional Innings Of 101*

File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte
File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte

Kumar Sangakkara, Rajasthan Royals (RR)’s director of cricket has praised Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opener Devdutt Padikkal for his stupendous unbeaten century on Thursday.

Devdutt Padikkal smashed an unbeaten 101 off only 52 balls as RCB demolished RR by ten wickets in an IPL 2021 game in Mumbai.

Kumar Sangakkara Image: Rajasthan Royals
Kumar Sangakkara Image: Rajasthan Royals

Kumar Sangakkara : Devdutt Padikkal Batted Really Well

Since his comeback from Covid-19, Devdutt Padikkal has scored 137 runs at an average of 68.50, including the 52-ball ton against the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. This knock helped RCB to a flawless 10-wicket win.

Asked about his take on Devdutt Padikkal’s innings, Kumar Sangakkara said at a virtual press conference: “It was an exceptional innings (from Devdutt Padikkal). He batted really well. Played the shots that he knew he could play.

“He anticipated some of the deliveries that were going to be bowled, with the field set. I thought he showed a lot of maturity to bat through. Of course, he was batting with Virat (Kohli). So there was a lot of conversation out there. Lot of talk about what to do and how to do it. It was very impressive.”

Speaking about his own team, Kumar Sangakkara said he was impressed with the way Shivam Dube batted. The all-rounder top-scored for RR in the match, with 46 off 32.

Shivam Dube (BCCI/ IPL Photo)
Shivam Dube (BCCI/ IPL Photo)

Praising Dube, Kumar Sangakkara said:”I thought Shivam (Dube) batted really well. He showed a lot of intensity and awareness. One of the things that he matches up well against is spin, and that is his real strength.

“Today, he showed that he has the ability to try and dominate the slow bowlers. He batted smartly. He got out a bit ahead of time, but the lower order fought really well (after a top-order collapse). But we have got to learn and improve. Games can slip by quickly.”

Kumar Sangakkara had played 134 Tests and 404 ODIs during an illustrious career. In the match, RR’s Shivam Dube’s 46 off 32 sowed the seeds of resistance, and Rahul Tewatia took over from there. His unorthodox strokeplay – scoops over fine leg, lashes over third man – obvious power and sheer determination produced 40 runs in 23 balls and took the Royals to a respectable 177 for 9.

Devdutt Padikkal Was Keen To Contribute To RCB’s Win

Before the start of IPL 2021, Devdutt Padikkal had tested COVID-19 positive. However, he soon tested negative and was allowed to join the team. The youngster, though, had to miss RCB’s first match against Mumbai Indians (MI).

Reflecting on the gamut of emotions that he has been through in recent days, Devdutt Padikkal said: “It’s been special. I could only await my turn. When I was down with COVID, all I was thinking of was to come here and play the first match. I couldn’t do that but was keen to contribute to the team’s win.”

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

On the wicket in Mumbai, Devdutt Padikkal added: “The ball was coming on really well, and we got a good start. When you get into a partnership like that (with Virat Kohli), it helps, as runs come from both ends.”

Devdutt Padikkal’s unbeaten 181-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli is the highest opening partnership for the Bangalore franchise. Moreover, their chase of RR’s total of 178 is the third-highest total chased in the tournament without losing a wicket.