After scores of 11 and 25, Devdutt Padikkal slammed his maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) century on Thursday (April 22) against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Mumbai. Padikkal has had a mixed few weeks. He was diagnosed with Covid-19, recovered well in time for the tournament but had to sit the first game out, which he says really hurt him.
"To be honest it's been special, all I could do was wait my turn. When I had Covid all I wanted was to come here and play, and when I missed the first one (game), it really hurt me," Padikkal said after the game.
Padikkal was not too worried about not getting to the three-figure mark. He in fact asked Virat Kohli to finish it off as winning the game was a priority for him. "The ball was coming on really well, and when we get into a partnership like that it gets easier. No real tension when the hundred came, I told Virat to go for it. At the end of the day even if I didn't get a hundred it wouldn't have mattered to me if the team won," the southpaw said.
Padikkal made his debut for RCB last season in the UAE. He finished as his team's leading run-scorer in the tournament, slamming 473 runs from 15 innings, which included as many as five fifties. His effort saw him being named the Emerging Player of the Year.
RCB, who have won four in four in IPL 2021, next take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday (April 25) in Mumbai.
Challenging to score boundaries in the middle overs
"It's about the situation of the game, I always have a particular role that I have to play and I have to do that as well as possible. Sometimes it can get challenging in the middle overs and it's not easy to hit boundaries all the time. " Padikkal said at the post-match press conference.
"It was a good wicket, we had the partnership going and we were complimenting each other well. So, in that situation it was easier to hit those boundaries because we are always rotating the strike," he added.
Padikkal enjoyed a breakout IPL season last year followed by an impressive domestic campaign with Karnataka. In the ongoing edition of the T20 league, he has scored 137 runs in three games at a strike rate of 147.31. "In the last two seasons, I've only looked to keep things simple and I have not tried to do anything different and special. I have tried to stick to my process, be as consistent as possible and thankfully I have been able to do that," said Padikkal.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Image Courtesy: BCCI)