Legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara expressed his admiration for RCB’s Devdutt Padikkal and branded the southpaw a ‘great talent’, but wants the youngster to have yet another prolific season. Padikkal, last year, won the ‘Emerging Player of the Year’ award in his debut season.
Devdutt Padikkal came to the limelight in early 2020 by finishing as the highest run-getter in both the Syed Mushtaq Ali and the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2019/20 season, but it was with his performance in IPL 2020 the youngster announced himself to the big stage. Opening the batting for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Padikkal amassed a staggering 474 runs in his debut season - the most by any RCB batsman in IPL 2020 - and won the ‘Emerging Player’ award for his stellar campaign.
The southpaw then created history by scoring four centuries in the 2020/21 Vijay Hazare Trophy and thus has big expectations on his shoulders this season in the IPL, where he’ll be opening the batting alongside skipper Kohli.
An admirer of the elegant 20-year-old is Brian Lara, who hoped for Padikkal to have an even better season this time around. Lara described the southpaw as a ‘great talent’.
“He's (Padikkal) such a great talent. Last year, he got a couple of (5) fifties, he batted well, he supported Virat Kohli very well," Lara told Star Sports' Select Dugout Live Feed, reported TOI.
"A few little things to iron out. I hope he did that in the break and comes back really storming hard for this IPL.”
In his young career, Padikkal has developed this knack of scoring tons, but the three-figure mark evaded him last season, with the youngster managing to convert none of his 5 fifties into a big one. This time around, Lara wants young Padikkal to score a couple of hundreds and take the tournament by storm.
“What I want to see in 2021 IPL is for him to go on and get a few man of the matches and get a couple of triple figures under his belt. Such a great little player,” Lara said.