Thursday, April 2, 2020

Royal Challengers: Devdutt Padikkal – current form

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The Eddalapal-born left-handed batsman had a breakthrough season for the Karnataka U-19s in the 2018-19 edition of Cooch Behar Trophy. With Ashish Kapoor at the helm, the BCCI junior selection committee took good account of his talent. In July 2018, Devdutt Padikkal was drafted into the India U-19 squad for the series against Sri Lanka. 

After his exploits in the Cooch Behar Trophy, the left-hander was earmarked by the RCB scouts and acquired him for a sum of INR 10 lakhs in 2018.

A year on after his breakthrough season, Devdutt Padikkal has become the spine of Karnataka’s batting line-up. Amidst a plethora of stars in the Karnataka dressing room, Devdutt has carved a niche for himself. 

In the last 8 months, the 19-year-old has been central to Karnataka’s dominance in the domestic circuit. Since August 2019, Devdutt Padikkal has amassed 2150 runs in just 41 matches with 21 half-centuries and a ton to his tally.

Devdutt Padikkal Was Central To Karnataka’s Dominance In The Domestic Season

After receiving the debut cap from his fellow statemate KL Rahul, Devdutt was hopeful of having a terrific season with Karnataka. 

At 7-2, Karnataka were not the horse to back, but some sheer brilliance from the 19-year-old steered them to a five-wicket win over Andhra. Devdutt’s well-constructed century provided a template for the kind of innings he could play and the format would increasingly see more of. 

Unfazed by pressure and with the presence of big names in the dressing room, Devdutt fought a battle of his own and ended up becoming the highest run-getter for Karnataka in the domestic competition. 

The cricketing fraternity took notice of this level-headed, belligerent and nonchalant entity. Harsha Bhogle, one of the most versatile voices of the cricketing annex was also blown away by the skill-sets possessed by the 19-year-old. 

Fast forward to 2020, the left-handed batsman is one of the linchpins of Karnataka’s batting line-up. More importantly, Devdutt Padikkal has played a pivotal role in Karnataka’s triumph in the two high profile BCCI tournaments – Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. 

The southpaw has contributed 42.7% and 36.13% to Karnataka’s total tally of runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Trophy respectively. The above numbers substantiate the fact that he puts the team first over his individual performance – a blueprint for a true team player.

Padikkal’s rise through the domestic ranks has been meteoric. He draws confidence from the Indian and RCB skipper, Virat Kohli and admits that the gig with RCB in 2018 really helped him fine-tune his skills.  With a good amount of experience in the domestic circle, Devdutt Padikkal will be keen to continue his scintillating form when given the opportunity.

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