Former India batsman, Gautam Gambhir lavished praise on Devdutt Padikkal after the youngster helped Royal Challengers Bangalore register a thumping 10-wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals with a sublime century.
The opener in his maiden IPL hundred, an innings of 101* off 52 balls, smashed 11 fours and 6 maximums as he even overshadowed Virat Kohli. Padikkal, who was RCB’s leading run-scorer last season, had fought covid-19 at the start of the tournament and missed the first game, and played a couple of scratch knocks.
Gautam Gambhir applauds the mental strength of the 20-year-old to hit a century after having a bout with covid. He points out that the pitch was the same for all the batters, and while none of the Rajasthan batters got to a half-century, the young RCB opener bulldozed his way to a three-figure score, playing pleasing shots, showcasing his class.
“See, he had covid as well. So it’s very difficult to come out of covid and straightaway get into a tournament like the IPL; it’s always difficult, it’s a world-class tournament. You are playing against world-class bowlers.
“And RCB has played on difficult wickets – they played 3 matches in Chennai which was never easy for any of the batters, even if you are batting on top of the order,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.
“See conditions are the same for everyone – it was the same for Sanju Samson and other Rajasthan batters as well, and even for Virat Kohli. But the way Padikkal batted; the way he dominated just shows his class. And hopefully, he keeps improving,” Gautam Gambhir added.
He has got all the attributes of being a quality cricketer: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir, 39, cricketer-turned-commentator opines that Devdutt Padikkal has all the features of making a successful career, and also playing at the international level. Gautam Gambhir, who the Karnataka batsman idolizes, hopes for the southpaw to be consistent in playing such significant knocks and not fade away after a couple of good innings.
“And obviously, he doesn’t get satisfied by one or two knocks, because if he keeps improving, keeps getting those big runs, then I think he can achieve a lot going forward in his career – to go onto probably play for India as well. He has got all the attributes of being a quality cricketer that he can be just looking by his skillset.
“I’m sure the work ethics will always be there as Virat Kohli and the group is around him to keep him level-headed. He looks really really good as a player,” Gautam Gambhir asserted.
With 4 wins in as many games, RCB remains the only unbeaten side of the tournament so far and takes the top spot on the points table. Virat Kohli’s team will next meet MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in a mouth-watering clash on Sunday afternoon.