Royal Challengers Bangalore opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal had recently contracted Covid-19 and he added that it hurt when he had to miss out on the first match for the franchise. Padikkal couldn’t get going in the first two matches he played after defeating the virus and stated that he was keen to contribute to the team’s win after he scored a breathtaking knock of 101 runs off just 52 balls against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Thursday.
Padikkal, who is mostly known to take his time in the initial phase of his innings, was able to hit the ground running against RR. The left-hander took the attack against the RR bowlers and helped his team get off to a flyer while chasing a under-par score of 178 runs. That RCB got to the target with 10 wickets and 21 balls to spare, shows how well Padikkal and Kohli played.
The southpaw scored 11 fours and six sixes in his blistering knock as he scored with a strike rate of 194.23. Padikkal was able to time the ball to perfection and showed his class. The left-hander was the aggressor in the opening partnership whereas Kohli played second fiddle.
In fact, the left-hander had recently scored a whopping 737 runs in the Vijay Hazare trophy while playing for Karnataka and has carried his form.
Padikkal stated it was challenging to come back after testing positive for Covid-19 but he showed great mental strength.
Padikkal said in the post-match presentation, “It’s been special. I could only wait my turn. When I was down with COVID, all I was thinking of was to come here and play the first match here. I couldn’t do that but was keen to contribute to the team’s win. The wicket was coming on really well and we got a good start. When you get into a partnership like that, it helps as runs come from both ends. (Whether he was worried about the 100) Not really, that’s what I was telling Virat to go for it. For me it’s not about getting to a hundred, I wouldn’t mind missing out on hundreds as long as I contribute to team’s wins. Throughout the innings there were times when he was going better and then I was going better. Rotation of strike is important. We just clicked well”.
Padikkal also achieved the feat of scoring the fastest century in the IPL by an uncapped Indian player as he got to the milestone in only 51 balls. With Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers in fine form, runs from Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal is a perfect icing on the cake for RCB.
RCB will next face Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 25th April.