Simon Katich, former Australian cricketer and the current head coach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, is really excited about the prospect of the 20-year-old Devdutt Padikkal making his Indian Premier League debut in the upcoming season.
Padikkal was in whirlwind form throughout last years’ domestic season. The swashbuckling left-handed Karnataka opener racked up 580 runs in 12 matches of his maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament at an average of 64.44 and a strike-rate of 175.75. Padikkal did not stop there.
He went on to top the batting charts in the Vijay Hazare 50-over Trophy, scoring 609 runs in 11 matches, which also included five half-centuries and two three-figure scores, forcing the RCB think-tank to retain the youngster ahead of the auctions. However, Katich revealed that the decision to retain him was made prior to his domestic exploits.
”The decision was made prior to his domestic season (to retain Devdutt Padikkal). As a young 20-year-old batsman, the fact that he’s a left-hander as well, he’s obviously going to be a favorite,” Simon Katich was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
“When it comes to the balance of the batting order you do like to break up left-hand, right-hand batting combinations so I think he’s done everything possible to put his hand up and potentially make his debut in the IPL,” he added.
‘He’s an exciting young talent’- Simon Katich on Devdutt Padikkal
With the likes of Aaron Finch, Parthiv Patel in their set-up, it still remains to be seen whether Devdutt Padikkal will get to open for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season.
Currently, the RCB squad s undergoing the mandatory quarantine period in their hotel rooms, post which they will commence their three-week training camp. Simon Katich added that it is now up to Padikkal to put his best foot forward in the training camp and push his case for selection. He, however, hailed the southpaw for not only his talent but also for his astute thinking towards the game.
“Obviously now it’s up to him to put his best case forward in the camp, we’ll have some practice matches where I’m sure he will get an opportunity to play. He’s an exciting young talent. He’s done a little bit of work during this lockdown period as well with our sports psychologist and he’s certainly got a bright future ahead of him – not just on the cricket field but also how he thinks about the game so far, from a mental skills point of view. It’s great to have him in our squad and we’re certainly excited by what he potentially could do,” Katich added.