Bangalore : Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Devdutt Padikkal was able to make a huge impact in IPL 2020. The 20-year-old youngster of Karnataka signed off from IPL 2020 as RCB’s highest run-scorer with 473 runs from 15 matches with an average of 31.53, which included five half-centuries in his debut season.
Padikkal is most likely to miss the team’s tournament opener against Mumbai Indians on April 9 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai as he tested positive for COVID-19. In an interview, he said to the media, “I try to keep things simple. I take one ball and a bowler at a time – that’s my mantra. Sometimes you get carried away after a decent or good start. I have set game plans now. I plan ahead of a match.”
He in spite of being a debutant was lucky to be chosen in every match and had an amazing experience with star players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. “Playing alongside Virat Bhai and ABD and all other cricketers was great. It was an incredible experience. Every day I was learning something new from Virat and ABD. The way they carry themselves in the international tournaments and in IPL, which is a long tournament, is amazing. The way they handle the pressure and perform in every single game is something I wanted to inculcate.”
Along with his strong willpower and aggressive batting captain Kohli is likely to have a major impact on the youngster’s mind. When asked about his captain, Padikkal said, “The passion and hunger he has for the game, it’s incredible. He doesn’t need anyone to push or motivate. He has so much fire to perform and give the best for the country or team. That is something I really want to have in myself. I really want to have that drive in myself that can push me every single day in terms of practice, training, and whatever I do.” Though his role model for cricket is the unsung hero of 2011 World final Gautam Gambhir. On Gambhir he says, “My role model is Gautam Gambhir in cricket. I have grown up watching him bat. I still watch his videos. I still love his batting. Gambhir is my cricketing role model.”
Padikkal is positive that this year they will win the title for Royal Challengers Bangalore, he said “We have star players. I had a huge learning (curve) last season and will aim to carry on the same show in the IPL too. Looking forward to scoring a good amount of runs for RCB and helping the team win the title.”