Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has named youngster Devdutt Padikkal as the ideal replacement for Shikhar Dhawan after the latter's retirement. He also added that the RCB opener has all the talent in the world, and if he does well with the bat, he can be a future star for the country.
The IPL provides a great platform for youngsters to turn into overnight stars. The same was the case with Karnataka opener Devdutt Padikkal, who turned into a household name after an excellent debut season in the league, which saw him score 473 runs last year, with five fifties in 15 games. But, despite a great season under his belt, there was criticism about his mediocre strike rate (124.80). But then, in this year's IPL, the 21-year-old turned around things and was striking at 152.34 while averaging 39. He had even played a 52-ball-101* run-knock for his franchise, which left people in awe of his batting.
As a result of an excellent Vijay Hazare trophy and the subsequent IPL, Padikkal was named in the senior men's side for their tour of Sri Lanka. The second T20I between India and Sri Lanka marked his debut international game, with the southpaw making 29 off 23. Talking about the youngster, Sehwag stated that he can be an ideal replacement for Shikhar Dhawan whenever the senior batter decides to hang up his boots.
"I really want to see him perform because the way he played a couple of innings, struck a century in the IPL, we saw some brilliant batting. When Shikhar Dhawan goes, he would be the right replacement for him. The only thing is that I want these Indian youngsters to first get opportunities in the sub-continent, because then when he goes to England, Australia or South Africa, there is confidence behind him," Sehwag said on Cricbuzz, reported HT.
He added that Padikkal is extremely talented and has it in him to turn into a star in times to come.
"If he performs, it will help his confidence and he can be a future star. He has that talent based on what I've seen in his batting. There’s no better thing than him getting an opportunity against Sri Lanka. The wickets will be flat, there will be no swing or seam. He just needs to keep a little bit of patience and needs to be careful with his shot selection. It shouldn't be tough for him to score runs," Sehwag pointed out.