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IPL 2021 | Striking boundaries in middle-overs becomes easier when you have a partnership going, insists Devdutt Padikkal

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Padikkal put on a show at the Wankhede

@ IPL T20

IPL 2021 | Striking boundaries in middle-overs becomes easier when you have a partnership going, insists Devdutt Padikkal

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SportsCafe Desk

04/23/2021

RCB batsman Devdutt Padikkal, who on Thursday struck his maiden IPL ton, asserted that scoring quickly in the middle-overs can be tough but claimed that the task is achievable when there are two set batsmen in the middle. Padikkal said that he and Kohli were only looking to compliment each other.

After struggling his way to scores of 11 and 25 in each of his first two games of the season, both at a SR under 100, RCB’s Devdutt Padikkal, on Thursday, played the most explosive knock of his IPL career to register his maiden IPL ton and take his side back to the top of the table. Padikkal’s nonchalant knock featured 11 fours and 6 monster sixes, but what was impressive was how the youngster accelerated post the powerplay. IPL 2020 saw the southpaw start strong and struggle at a SR lower than 115 in overs 7 to 15, but on Thursday the Karnataka opener shifted gears effortlessly and showcased a whole new side of his batting that left every viewer in awe. 

Padikkal, on Thursday, looked like a batsman who’d evolved, but speaking in the press conference post the game, the 20-year-old downplayed his efforts and said that it was his partnership with skipper Kohli that enabled him to accelerate. 

“To be honest it’s about the situation of the game. I always have a particular role to play and I’ll look to do that as well as possible. Sometimes yes, it can get challenging in the middle overs. As everyone knows, it’s not easy to hit the boundaries all the time but today it was a really good wicket and we were having a good partnership together. We were complimenting each other well and in those situations it’s easier to hit boundaries as we are always rotating strike,” Padikkal said on Thursday. 

In no time Padikkal got past his fifty, and at one stage he’d scored 50 runs more than his partner, Kohli, who was anchoring the innings. Kohli, though, accelerated after going past 30 and that left the RCB skipper in an awkward situation as at one point it looked like he could deny Padikkal a deserved century by knocking off the runs himself. That didn’t eventually happen, as Padikkal brought up three figures, but the youngster insisted that he simply does not care about milestones and is only concerned about the team registering a win.

“Not really, that's what I was telling Virat to go for it. For me it's not about getting to a hundred, I wouldn't mind missing out on hundreds as long as I contribute to team's wins”

Last season, Padikkal and Kohli, though batting at different positions, strung together quite a few good partnerships and the pair’s impeccable chemistry was on display yesterday, as they put on 181 for the first wicket to deflate a broken Rajasthan unit. Padikkal asserted that he and Kohli tend to compliment each other well, and claimed that the same was on show against RR on Thursday.

“The wicket was coming on really well and we got a good start. When you get into a partnership like that, it helps as runs come from both ends. Throughout the innings there were times when he was going better and then I was going better. Rotation of strike is important. We just clicked well.”

Thursday’s achievement was massive for Padikkal as it was only three weeks ago that he had caught Covid and had to hence miss the first game of RCB’s IPL 2021 campaign. The 20-year-old described the knock yesterday as ‘special’ and revealed that, when he’d caught Covid, all he was thinking of was donning the RCB colours. 

“It's been special. I could only wait my turn. When I was down with COVID, all I was thinking of was to come here and play the first match here. I couldn't do that but was keen to contribute to the team's win.”

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