After a clinical victory over the Royals, Virat Kohli lavished praise on Devdutt Padikkal and proclaimed that the youngster put all the criticism around his slow batting to rest. He also lauded the RCB bowlers and asserted that there might not be many standout names but they have been effective.
Devdutt Padikkal had emerged as one of the superstars post last year's IPL, as he stroked 473 runs, that too in his debut season outscoring the legends of the game Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. However, his strike-rate of 124.80 was considered a major flaw about him as he was continuously failing to accelerate his innings in the middle-overs. But today against the Royals, he played arguably his best IPL knock yet, scoring 101* off 52 with 11 fours and 6 maximums. The innings exemplified the prodigal abilities of the Karnataka youngster as there was no bowler or phase in the game, which he failed to nail down.
Speaking about Padikkal's exemplary knock, Virat Kohli claimed that the innings put all the criticism around his lack of acceleration after 30s to bed as he played an exceptional knock.
"It was an outstanding innings. He batted really well for his first season last time. There was a lot of talk about him not accelerating after getting to 30s. He's put all that to rest. It was a good pitch to bat on to be honest, and him being tall meant that bowlers struggled with their lengths," Kohli told the broadcaster post the 10-wicket win.
There was a point in time when Padikkal was batting so dominantly that a world-class batsman like Virat Kohli just had to give back the strike to the youngster and enjoy the carnival from the other end. Reflecting on that, the 32-year-old stated that T20s are all about partnerships and doing what the situation demands, which he did against the Royals.
"T20 cricket is always about partnership cricket. You can't always go big from the word go. When one guy is going well, it's important for me to ensure that I don't lose my wicket. It can change on other days. We spoke about it (on the 100). He told me to finish it off, I told him to get to it first. He said many will come, I said yea you can say that after you get to the landmark. He deserved to get the three-figure mark."
As good as the RCB openers batted, putting up a record opening partnership of 181 runs for their side, the victory was set-up by the bowlers. Restricting the Royals to 177 was a game breaker as on such a flat wicket, where even 200-210 seems like a par score, chasing 178 was always going to be a cakewalk. Kohli credited the bowlers for the win and asserted that Bangalore doesn't boast world-class names at their disposal, yet they have performed well, especially at the death, which is a matter of pride of them.
"We don't have standout names (in bowling) but we have effective ones. We have depth in our bowling. They are professionals. We have taken the most wickets in the death overs this season so far and it's something we take pride in. Dev's innings was a great one but I'd also like to credit the bowlers for setting it up. (to the fans) I'd say don't be overexcited. We're being professional. We're moving in the right direction."
With the win, Bangalore are back to the top position on the points table as they are the only undefeated side in the tournament, thus far. They will now take on Chennai at the same venue on Sunday.