Royal Challengers Bangalore won their third match of the IPL 2020, a result that saw them propel to the top of the points table. Leading from the front was captain Virat Kohli, who roared back to form with an important half-century. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal starred with the ball to keep Rajasthan Royals to 154/6, after which Kohli’s half-century saw RCB home.
However, aiding Kohli was a youngster whose stocks continue to rise. Devdutt Padikkal, 20, peeled off his third fifty in four matches, and together the two batsmen put on 99 runs for the second wicket after RCB had lost Aaron Finch cheaply. Padikkal’s fifty came off 34 balls and he struck some lovely shots before being bowled by Jofra Archer.
With 174 runs in four matches, Padikkal has jumped to the fourth place in the list of IPL 2020’s highest run-getters. Keeping the trend of the past editions of the IPL, it is safe to say that Padikkal has been the find of this IPL season. Winning captain Kohli, after the match revealed his first impressions of Padikkal, explaining how he knew the youngster is a special talent.
“I saw him play and told Simon (Katich) that this guy has got some serious talent because he’s got reach, a great eye, a great balance. It’s very difficult for the bowlers to continue bowling same lines and lengths against a leftie. The way he bats … very clean shots. You don’t feel like he is taking risks,” Kohli said.
“I just kept talking to him about building an innings. If he can bat longer for the team, it’s gonna benefit us. Today he carried from 40 to 65 odd which helped the team eventually. He’s a smart guy, he understands the game well and he responds to the feedback very well. The more he keeps learning, the better it is for RCB.”
About the match, Kohli was happy to have gained two more points, which highlights a good start to the season for RCB, a stark contrast to the way things had panned out last season. The first day game of the IPL 2020 was a testing one for all players, with Abu Dhabi’s scorching heat taking a toll on players, but Kohli was glad to see a few more boxes getting ticked along the way.
“Very important two points,” Kohli said. “The kind of game we had last time around, it is very important to back that performance up. It was a bit warm, but coming from Dubai, this breeze was feeling like a luxury to us because we’ve nothing in Dubai. We were feeling more hot and humid there. Tough day, against a good team, two points in the bag on a tricky pitch, we are very happy with the performance.”