Former Australia spinner, Brad Hogg opines that the Royal Challengers Bangalore side will become stronger once Devdutt Padikkal returns to the eleven. Padikkal, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was “recommended rest” from the season opener against Mumbai Indians as he linked up with the team a couple of days ago.
The left-hander joined the RCB bubble on Wednesday, after quarantining at his home in Bangalore for two weeks.
In Padikkal’s absence, Washington Sundar opened the batting with skipper Virat Kohli in the chase of 160 with Rajat Patidar at number 3. Both Sundar and Patidar failed to make any significant contributions with the bat- the former struggled for timing in his 16-ball stay for 10 runs, while the latter, batting in his debut IPL match, scored 8 runs off 8 deliveries.
While RCB did chase down the target, however, what once seemed an early finish, with Kohli and Glenn Maxwell staging a half-century partnership, went down to the wire, as the batting collapsed, only for AB de Villiers to once again pull them out.
Brad Hogg, on his Twitter post the game, said that despite RCB winning the match, they would get stronger when Padikkal slots back in the opener’s slot.
The Karnataka opener has been in surreal form since the IPL last year: he was the leading run-scorer for RCB in IPL 2020 – 473 runs at an average of 31.53 and a strike rate of 124.80; continued his good form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy scoring 218 runs in 6 innings at a strike rate of 134.56; then followed it up with a record-breaking Vijay Hazare Trophy aggregating 737 runs at an unbelievable average of 147.40.
Mumbai Indians still looked the team to beat: Brad Hogg
Though Mumbai lost the game, Brad Hogg reckons Rohit Sharma’s side still looks the best team this season. MI’s loss on Friday wasn’t totally unexpected as they have a history of starting slow, in fact, they haven’t won their first match of the tournament since 2013. The 5-time champions know, better than anyone else, how to make a comeback after a loss in the opening game.
“Mumbai Indians losing last night is a regulation occurrence for there 1st game, but still looked the team to beat. RCB looked a more balanced side, will be stronger with Paddikal in the team,” tweeted the former chinaman.
Mumbai takes on Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday; a day later Bangalore face-off versus Sunrisers Hyderabad – both games to take place in Chennai. ‘
Here is Brad Hogg’s tweet:
Mumbai Indians losing last night is a regulation occurrence for there 1st game, but still looked the team to beat. RCB looked a more balanced side, will be stronger with Paddikal in the team. #RCBvsMI #MIvRCB #IPL2021
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) April 10, 2021