Devdutt Padikkal, Royal Challengers Bangalore opener, has overcome the COVID-19 virus due to which he had to miss out on the IPL 2021 season opener against Mumbai Indians, which Virat Kohli’s side won on the last ball.
The left-hander tested positive for COVID-19 on March 22 and was in quarantine at his home. He linked up with the squad later but was rested from the game against Mumbai. Now, he is expected to slot back into his opening spot in the second game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Devdutt Padikkal has been in sublime form since IPL 2020, his debut season, where he returned as RCB’s highest run-scorer outscoring even the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. He continued that form in domestic cricket as well – the southpaw tallied 218 runs in 6 innings in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and had a rec0rd-braking Vijay Hazare Trophy season amassing 737 runs at an average of 147. The 20-year-old wishes to bat along the same lines in the IPL as well.
“COVID was a setback. I wish that it didn’t happen but that’s something I couldn’t control…I had to accept the way it was and just make sure that I kept myself fit so that when I comeback I can be ready for the game,” Devdutt Padikkal said in a video posted on RCB’s Twitter handle.
“Last IPL was amazing for me. It was such a great experience and exposure for me, the opportunities I got and the fact that I was able to contribute to the side is all that matters in the end.
“Mushtaq Ali was decent, not up to what I was expecting, and in Vijay Hazare, I was just looking to get back into my rhythm and focus on what I am doing and really improve my game every time I went out to bat. It was really great to have the runs behind me, so coming into IPL, I know that I am confident,” he added.
Important that I just make sure I am learning as much as possible: Devdutt Padikkal
The Kerala-born batsman is excited to open alongside captain Virat Kohli; Washington Sundar opened against Mumbai, and Devdutt Padikkal is likely to replace Rajat Patidar or Shahbaz Ahmed in the eleven.
Apart from de Villiers and Kohli, the youngster is keen to pick the brains of Australian superstar all-rounder Glenn Maxwell as well. He wants to learn as much possible as he can from the seniors in the team.
“Definitely, it’s something new…I am definitely looking forward to that. Besides Kohli, the RCB batting line-up also features experienced campaigners like AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell.
“Batting with them (seniors) just takes pressure of you. They are so good at what they do and they just make your job easier, know exactly what to do in every situation. So, it’s important that I just make sure I am learning as much as possible,” he further stated.