The Indian Premier League [IPL] has always been a breeding ground or platform where ‘talent meets opportunity’ and just like the previous editions, we have seen a plethora of rookie players enthrall the fans and pundits with their prodigious talent.
The likes of T Natarajan, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Tewatia, Ravi Bishnoi, Priyam Garg, and recently Ruturaj Gaikwad have given an account of their talent this IPL season.
But if there is one cricketer who has stood heads and shoulders ahead of his contemporaries this season, it has got to be Karnataka and Royal Challengers Bangalore opener, Devdutt Padikkal.
Padikkal’s success at the top of the order has been one of the major cornerstones in RCB’s consistency this year. Padikkal, with his stylish strokeplay and ice-cool temperament, has consistently given his side good platforms even when his more celebrated opening partner, Aaron Finch has struggled at the other end.
Devdutt Padikkal started off the tournament with a bang as he smashed three half-centuries in his first four outings to become the only player in the history of the IPL to achieve such a feat.
Devdutt Padikkal joins Shreyas Iyer in an elite list
And, on Wednesday, in what was another scintillating knock against defending champions, Mumbai India, Devdutt Padikkal added yet another feather to his cap after he became just the second uncapped Indian player to scale Mount.400 in a debut season.
The first cricketer to achieve such a feat was the current Delhi Capitals skipper, Shreyas Iyer, who had smacked 439 runs in 14 innings at an average of 33.8 and at a strike-rate of 128.4 with four half-centuries.
Padikkal brought up the historic feat during his whirlwind knock of 45-ball 74 against Mumbai Indians- an innings which included 12 fours and a six.
Padikkal has thus far scored 417 runs in 12 innings this season at an average of 34.75 and a strike-rate of 128.7, and he is just the 10th batsman in the history of the IPL to score more than 400 runs in his debut season.