Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli has heaped praise on his opening partner Devdutt Padikkal, who scored his maiden IPL century against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.
Chasing 178 runs to win, Devdutt Padikkal was able to hit the ground running whereas Kohli decided to take a backseat in the run-chase.
The left-hander was timing the ball to perfection and took the attack to Rajasthan Royals bowlers. In fact, RCB scored 59 runs in the powerplay overs and 42 out of it came off Padikkal’s blade.
In fact, Padikkal had a great previous season for RCB but had scored his runs at a strike rate of around 120. However, Padikkal showed his different avatar against RR as he struck at 194.23. There were talks about Padikkal’s ability to change gears after scoring 30 runs and Kohli feels he has put that to rest with his blistering innings against RR.
Padikkal scored an unbeaten knock of 101 runs off just 52 balls with the help of 11 fours and six sixes. The southpaw also scored the fastest hundred by an uncapped Indian player in the IPL. Thus, this knock must have added a shot in the arm for Padikkal.
Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation, “It was an outstanding innings. He batted really well for his first season last time. There was a lot of talk about him not accelerating after getting to 30s. He’s put all that to rest. It was a good pitch to bat on to be honest, and him being tall meant that bowlers struggled with their lengths. T20 cricket is always about partnership cricket. You can’t always go big from the word go. When one guy is going well, it’s important for me to ensure that I don’t lose my wicket. It can change on other days. We spoke about it (on the 100). He told me to finish it off, I told him to get to it first. He said many will come, I said yes you can say that after you get to the landmark. He deserved to get the three-figure mark”.
Kohli and Padikkal put together 181 runs, which is the highest opening alliance for RCB in the IPL as they bettered the previous record of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chris Gayle.
RCB have won all their four matches and they will look to continue the good show. The Virat Kohli-led team is at the top of the points table with eight points under their bag. RCB will next face Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 25th April.