Ahead of the IPL 2021 edition, Karnataka and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman Devdutt Padikkal received rich praise from head coach Simon Katich, who called him brilliant and a local talent that they consciously backed to come good.
Padikkal made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut in IPL 2020 in UAE for the RCB and turned heads with his performances while opening the batting. In his debut season, Padikkal slammed 473 runs in 15 matches at an average of 31.53 and a strike rate of 124.80. His highest score was 74 and he hit 5 half-centuries in the tournament while impressing one and all.
Devdutt Padikkal Had Never Played IPL, He Didn’t Let Us Down He Was Brilliant: Simon Katich
Simon Katich, the former Australia batsman and now RCB coach, revealed that by the time IPL 2020 ended, RCB had already begun chalking out plans for the 2021 season and team management’s had their eyes on the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and local domestic tournaments looking for young Indian talent.
“We have done a lot of reviewing right when the season finished because throughout the season you are looking at how you can improve, the areas in your game that should be improved to be at the best. So a lot of work was done particularly in a week straight after season. We did mock auctions, basically, it was following the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and a lot of local tournaments. We felt like we were ready for the options,” said Katich in a video posted on RCB’s Twitter handle.
Mohammed Azharuddeen was one such young talent who scored a 37-ball century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and was bought by the RCB in the IPL 2021 auction, and him being a wicketkeeper gives them added flexibility as well.
However, Katich also mentioned Devdutt Padikkal in his statements, saying that he was one of the young Indian talents they had backed during IPL 2020 and someone who didn’t disappoint them.
“We made a conscious effort to try and keep the core of the group together and we felt in the last season there were a lot of positives. For the first times in a number of years we got to the playoffs. The other part was that we did back a lot of young Indian talent and when I say that we backed the young kid Padikkal at top of the order. He had never played IPL, he didn’t let us down he was brilliant,” he further said.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will clash with defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener on April 9 in Chennai.
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