Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich recently revealed how Virat Kohli had mentored young Devdutt Padikkal during the previous season of the Indian Premier League. Padikkal had gone on to end up as RCB’s highest run-getter in IPL 2020 with 473 runs to his name, which included five fifties as well.
Katich revealed in a conversation with BBC Sports that they had asked Kohli to mentor Padikkal specifically in order to instill a great sense of work ethic and winning mentality in the youngster.
“Given his experience and the esteem he is held in Indian cricket, last season we asked Virat to mentor Devdutt. Devdutt was a kid playing his first IPL, which is a long, physically and mentally draining tournament. We saw times when he started really well but there were times when teams started to work him out with their tactics,” Katich said.
“There were also times when he started to physically tire, particularly in an innings where we would get to the 20- or 30-ball mark. He could get fatigued, make a mistake and get out. Virat urged him to work on his fitness when the tournament was over, knowing the standard of IPL is a level above domestic cricket. He’s a great young kid and Virat also talked a lot of tactics with him, how teams were going to bowl at him and how to counter that,” he added.
Katich also praised Padikkal for the way he made efforts to improve his game in the nets. He was very attentive to Kohli’s suggestions and picked his brain as much as he could.
“A lot of credit goes to Padikkal, who worked on his game in the nets, but Virat was able to guide him on what to do next. He was prepared to give up his time and knowledge,” he added.
Katich also was of the opinion that Kohli had all the qualities and requisites in him to become a success coach in the future. His game awareness, work ethic and focus on fitness could help in grooming players in the best possible way.
RCB are currently placed at the top of the IPL 2021 table having won five out of the six games they have played so far.