IPL 2020: RCB's Devdutt Padikkal Making a Bold Opening Statement
The 20-year old Indian cricketer playing for the Royal Challengers Franchise has been outstanding in his debut season of the IPL. The youngster has an amazing performance record in domestic cricket and the os being reflected on the international level.
- Nikhil Narain
- Updated: October 5, 2020, 9:33 AM IST
Devdutt Padikkal scored his third fifty of IPL 2020 with an elegant 63 off 45 deliveries and partnered with skipper, Virat Kohli to put together a match-winning 99-run stand for the second wicket. Royal Challengers Bangalore registered their third win of the tournament as they chased down RR’s 154 with 5 balls to spare.
Padikkal has now played a significant role with the bat in each of RCB’s three victories in the tournament. He was their highest-scorer in the 10-run win over SRH in Dubai. Paddikal scored 56 off 42 deliveries dominating the 90-run opening-wicket partnership with the Australian, Aaron Finch – one of the premier T20 batsman in the world. While Padikkal had a strike rate of 133.33, Finch played second fiddle scoring at a rate of just 111.54. It was this initial push by Padikkal (along with a late flourish by AB) which helped RCB put up a par score of 163 which ultimately proved to be a bit too much for SRH.
Padikkal again combined with Finch to give RCB a fine start against MI in Dubai. The opening pair put together 81 in just 9 overs. The southpaw read the situation and played the role of the anchor as Finch was striking the ball cleanly from the other end. He accelerated later in his innings and scored 24 off just 12 deliveries during his partnership with AB de Villiers. Padikkal was finally dismissed for 54 off 40 deliveries. RCB went past 200 and eventually went on to win the match through a Super Over.
Padikkal is the highest scorer for RCB (and the fourth-highest overall) so far this season – a big achievement given the superstars in their batting line-up. He has aggregated 174 runs in 4 matches at a strike rate of 134.88.
The best thing about his batting is his calmness and composure at the crease. He has not tried to over-hit the ball – just relied on his strengths and on timing and placing the ball. Although he seems to have a wide repertoire of shots, his favourite is the pull and the hook. He loves to flick the ball on the on-side, can play ferocious upper cuts and is also adept in playing the deft late touches.
RCB had a disastrous campaign in 2019. They lost 8 of their 14 matches and finished last on the points table. They have had a good start in 2020 winning three of their first four matches. Padikkal has been the constant in each of these three wins. He has given RCB the stability they needed at the top of the order and a platform for their two star batsmen, AB and Kohli, to come out and express themselves.
Incidentally, Padikkal was the highest scorer of the premier domestic T20 tournament in India, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2019-20. He scored a whopping 580 runs in 12 innings at a stunning strike rate of 175.75 including one hundred and 5 fifties – so not only did he score big runs but also did so at a rapid pace! His team, Karnataka went on to win the trophy.
Amazingly, he also had the highest aggregate in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, 2019-20. Padikkal scored 609 runs in 11 innings at a rate of 81.09 including two hundreds and 5 fifties in the tournament playing a pivotal role with the bat in Karnataka’s victory.
Born in Edapal, Kerala, Padikkal is just 20 years old.
Exciting times ahead for him and Indian cricket!