After Beating COVID-19, Devdutt Padikkal Raring to Go in IPL 2021

Padikkal was RCB’s highest run-getter in his debut season in 2020 with 473 runs from 15 games, including 5 fifties.

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IPL
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Devdutt Padikkal at a training session with RCB. 
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Having recovered from COVID-19, Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Devdutt Padikkal is keen to carry forward his recent run of form in domestic cricket into the IPL.

Padikkal contracted the virus on 22 March and was in isolation at home, but has since recovered and resumed practice as well.

"COVID was a setback. I wish that it didn't happen but that's something I couldn't control...I had to accept the way it was and just make sure that I kept myself fit so that when I comeback I can be ready for the game," he said in a video posted on RCB's Twitter handle.

"Right now I am completely fine, most importantly I am able to move around well, I am able to react to balls and that's the most important part...in IPL you always have to be ready, you always have to be 100 per cent in every situation. Unless you are 100 per cent, you can't really push yourself."

Padikkal was RCB's highest run-getter in his debut season in IPL 2020 with 473 runs from 15 matches, including five half-centuries. The stylish left hander then piled on the runs in domestic cricket too in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (218 runs at an average of 43.60 in six matches) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (737 runs in seven matches). In fact, he scored 4 consecutive centuries in Vijay Hazare Trophy.

"...last IPL was amazing for me. It was such a great experience and exposure for me, the opportunities I got and the fact that I was able to contribute to the side is all that matters in the end.

"Mushtaq Ali was decent, not up to what I was expecting and in Vijay Hazare I was just looking to get back into my rhythm and focus on what I am doing and really improve my game every time I went out to bat.

"It was really great to have the runs behind me, so coming into IPL, I know that I am confident," Padikkal said.

Having missed RCB's two-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in this year's IPL opener, Padikkal is expected to feature in his side's second game against Kolkata Knight Riders here on April 18.

And the young batsman can't wait to open along side skipper Virat Kohli when the opportunity comes.

"Definitely, it's something new...I am definitely looking forward to that," he said.

Besides Kohli, the RCB batting line-up also features experienced campaigners like AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell. Padikkal said he can't wait to pick their brains.

"...batting with them (seniors) just takes pressure of you. They are so good at what they do and they just make your job easier, know exactly what to do in every situation. So, it's important that I just make sure I am learning as much as possible," he said.

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