It has happened in the most unusual circumstances one can ever imagine but rookie left-handed opener from Karnataka, Devdutt Padikkal is unlikely to forget July 28, 2021, anytime soon as he finally earned his maiden India cap.
Devdutt Padikkal has been handed his maiden Indian cap ahead of the second T20I against Sri Lanka and he has now become the first 21st century born cricketer to represent Team India at the top level.
Padikkal is one of the four cricketers who has been handed the maiden T20I cap by the Indian management. Others include Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya.
With Krunal Pandya testing positive for Covid, the second T20I which was originally supposed to take place on Tuesday was abandoned till Wednesday.
As many as eight players were identified as close contacts to Krunal and while each of them tested negative for the virus, they were deemed unavailable for the second T20I.
Those players are Ishan Kishan, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya.
Irrespective of the circumstances under which he has earned his maiden T20I cap, it is a richly deserved feat by Devdutt Padikkal, who has impressed one and all with his performance in both List A and T20 cricket for his state team as well as for Virat Kohl’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Padikkal had a stellar start to his IPL career last year as he smashed 473 runs in 15 innings at an average of 31.53 and a strike rate of 124.80 with 5 50+ scores.
He made remarkable improvement in his strike rate in the recent season of the IPL as the southpaw went on to smash his maiden T20 ton against the Rajasthan Royals.