Kris Srikkanth has admitted that Devdutt Padikkal should be left alone and be allowed to play his natural free-flowing game without any comparisons with other cricketers. He also added that the southpaw has adapted himself to the IPL very quickly with a great technique and temperament.
On the back of his impressive display for Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Devdutt Padikkal entered the RCB fray as one of the favourites to open alongside Aaron Finch. Rightly so, from the very first delivery, the southpaw executed his game plan with ease impressing one and all with his steady posture. The 20-year-old scored a scintillating 56 off 42 deliveries in conditions where the likes of Aaron Finch and Virat Kohli were struggling to go from the word go.
During his 42-ball 56, the left-hander scored eight boundaries, at a strike-rate of 133 showcasing a plethora of classical strokes that impressed one and all. Kris Srikkanth naturally was no different than the others, with the former Indian opener too a fan of the Karnataka opener. However, at the same time, Srikkanth admitting that he wishes Padikkal to be left alone so that he can continue with his natural free-flowing game.
"If the knock against Hyderabad is any indication, Padikkal should go some distance. My only wish is, he be left alone and allowed to play his natural, free-flowing game," Srikkanth wrote in his TOI column.
"I was mighty impressed by what I saw of Devdutt Padikkal in his first game. Adapting to a bigger stage is never easy and the youngster showed the right attitude in registering a match-winning performance. For keen followers of domestic cricket, Padikkal's performance might have not come as a surprise,” he added.
One of Padikkal’s strength is his ability to play the deliveries late off his back foot, which fetched him two boundaries in the powerplay. Alongside that, Srikkanth also liked the southpaw’s head staying still, which allows him an extra second to tackle the pacers.
“What struck me most about the 20-year-old was that he staying still and playing the ball late. Offering a straight bat is always an advantage but that didn't bring down his scoring areas. A good all-round batsman, Padikkal looks to have that extra second against the seamers, so crucial for an opener."
Ahead of RCB’s clash against KXIP, the former Indian selector also recommended a change for the KL Rahul led side. As per Srikkanth, the management should be aiming to bring the Afghani spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman instead of Chris Jordan, who gave away plenty of runs towards the back end of the innings. However, for RCB, Srikkanth suggested no changes, admitting that the franchise has all bases covered.
“In my opinion, spinner Mujeeb Ur Rehman should come in place of Chris Jordan. The conditions should also favour the young Afghani. Looks like Bangalore have their bases covered and to see them win without a major contribution from Virat Kohli must have worked wonders for their confidence. With all the teams shaping up well, this should be an exciting tournament throughout," Srikkanth concluded.