Stylish, calm and straightforward – attributes that spring to mind whenever one watches Devdutt Padikkal bat. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opener took to life in the glitzy world of the IPL like a duck takes to water, finishing his debut season as the highest run-scorer for the Virat Kohli-led side in the UAE.
The southpaw, who played flawlessly on 22 April against Rajasthan Royals (RR) to get his first IPL hundred in a 10-wicket win, stole the spotlight from Kohli by keeping his approach simple, much like the advice from the maestro.
“Batting with these guys (Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers) they make your game very easy because they have so much experience and they know exactly what the situation is like, and how to react to it. To have that knowledge and experience at the other end (of the pitch) while you’re a youngster is really important. The fact that they have been so generous and helped me through tough situations in matches, is really nice because they realise they have the knowledge to pass on,” Paddikal told The Quint during a virtual interaction after signing with sportswear giants PUMA before the game against RR.
“Something that they always talk about is keeping things simple because it’s easy to complicate things and overthink situations.”
"It was an outstanding innings. He batted really well for his first season last time. He is a great talent, great one to look forward in the future. I had the best seat in the house,” Kohli said after Padikkal’s century.
Used to being at the top of the run-scoring charts in recent years of domestic cricket, it was a Karnataka youngster’s eagerness to learn and improve that impressed the RCB think tank the most.
“Definitely, the IPL is a step up in terms of the high standard and the intensity, and the things that are at stake. Apart from that, I feel, it’s more important that in your mind you look at it as just another game of cricket. At the end of the day, it’s bat versus ball, and I look to keep things simple. In terms of that the transition (from domestic cricket) has not been so tough for me because I just approached it as a game of cricket,” Padikkal said.
Like in the previous edition of the IPL, the young batter came into this year’s tournament on the back of some fine form, scoring four consecutive centuries in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Karnataka. Helped by Padikkal’s purple patch, RCB have motored their way to the top of the table in the IPL after four games.
“I felt that coming into this year’s IPL, I wanted to make sure that I continued the form from last year. And to have those runs under my belt in the domestic season was really important for me, especially before the IPL,” the southpaw noted.
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