Player profile: Who is RCB's new opener Devdutt Padikkal?
Royal Challengers Bangalore registered their first victory of the 2020 IPL as they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 10 runs in their opening game. However, the foundation of their win was laid by 20-year-old Devdutt Padikkal, who made his debut in the cash-rich league. The Karnataka batsman played an impressive knock, having projected an array of flamboyant strokes. Here's a look at his professional career.
Padikkal rose to prominence in the 2017 KPL
As a 17-year-old, Padikkal grabbed eyeballs during the 2017 Karnataka Premier League, wherein he smashed a 53-ball 72 against Bengaluru Blasters. Soon after, his career began to falter due to an inconsistent run in Under-19 cricket for Karnataka. However, he was picked in the India Under-19 squad for the 2018 Sri Lanka tour. Later on, Padikkal smashed 829 runs in the Cooch Behar Trophy.
Padikkal slammed fifties in FC, List A and T20 debut
Later that year, Padikkal earned his maiden call-up in First-class cricket. In his debut Ranji Trophy game, he went on to score 77 off 128 deliveries as Karnataka beat Maharashtra by seven wickets. In the season that followed, Padikkal also slammed fifties on his debut games in List A and T20 cricket. He was later picked by RCB at the IPL 2020 auction.
Breakthrough year for Padikkal
The year 2019 proved to be a breakthrough one for Padikkal. He topped the runs tally in the Vijay Hazare 50-over tournament (609) and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s (580) as Karnataka won both the tournaments. In the Karnataka Premier League, he bagged the Emerging Player award, which prompted Mike Hesson (RCB's Director of Cricket Operations) to retain him in the RCB squad.
A look at his numbers in domestic cricket
So far, Padikkal has amassed 907 runs from 15 First-class games at 34.88. However, his numbers in white-ball cricket are even more substantial. From 13 List A games, he has tallied 650 runs at 59.09, while he averages an astonishing 63.60 in T20 cricket.
How did Padikkal fare on his IPL debut?
Padikkal, who owned domestic cricket last year, was all guns blazing in his debut IPL innings. The left-handed batsman slammed his maiden fifty in the tournament, having finished on a terrific 56 (42). He joined the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh, and Sreevats Goswami, the only players who have recorded a fifty on IPL debut (for RCB).
Second-youngest to smash fifty on IPL debut
At 20 years and 76 days, Devdutt Padikkal became the second-youngest to record a 50+ score on debut IPL. Former RCB player Sreevats Goswami was the youngest to do so (19 years and 1 day in 2008).
'Learned a lot from Virat Kohli', says Padikkal
Following the match, the Karnataka star highlighted the impact of RCB skipper Virat Kohli on him. "The last one month that we practiced, I learned a lot from Virat bhaiya. I kept asking him questions whenever I was around him. Even today, when I was playing with Finch, he showed a lot of confidence in me," he said.