Devdutt Padikkal received his maiden IPL contract at the 2019 IPL Auction, where the Royal Challengers Bangalore signed him for ₹20 lakh. Although RCB did not have a great season in 2019, the team management did not go with Devdutt in any of their matches.
Devdutt Padikkal brought his 'A' game to the table and shattered records with his incredible consistency in the subsequent domestic season. As a result, the Royal Challengers retained him for IPL 2020 and included him in their playing XI for all games.
The left-handed batsman continued his fine form in IPL 2020, scoring 473 runs in 15 innings. Padikkal outshone his experienced batting partner Aaron Finch while opening the innings for RCB in the United Arab Emirates.
Devdutt Padikkal will open the innings this year with his skipper Virat Kohli. Before Padikkal strides out to the middle again to torment the opposition bowlers in IPL 2021, we relive the top three knocks played by the youngster for RCB so far.
3. Devdutt Padikkal's half-century on IPL debut
Devdutt Padikkal received his maiden IPL cap ahead of the team's IPL 2020 season opener against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
While one would have expected him to take some time before dominating the proceedings, Devdutt showed no nerves at all as he amassed 56 runs against a top-quality SRH bowling lineup in his first IPL inning.
Playing at the Dubai International Stadium, Padikkal smashed eight boundaries in his 42-ball 56. His fifty guided RCB to 163/5 in 20 overs. The bowlers did the rest of the job in the second innings to ensure RCB got off to a winning start in IPL 2020.
2. A fantastic partnership with Virat Kohli in a tricky run-chase against the Rajasthan Royals
The Royal Challengers Bangalore played their fourth match of IPL 2020 against the Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi. Skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and invited Steve Smith's men to bat first.
The Jaipur-based franchise set a tricky 148-run target for the Royal Challengers at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. RCB lost Aaron Finch early in the run-chase. However, Devdutt Padikkal stabilized the innings with Kohli.
The RCB duo added 99 runs for the second wicket and almost sealed the deal for the team. Padikkal hit six fours and a maximum in his 43-ball 65. Unfortunately, he lost his stumps to Jofra Archer in the 16th over. Nonetheless, RCB fans were delighted to see his superb performance in the second innings.
1. A career-best performance against the defending champions in Abu Dhabi
Devdutt Padikkal played the best knock of his IPL career versus the Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Although his 45-ball 74 could not help the Royal Challengers to a win, the 20-year-old proved himself as a reliable batsman that night.
Josh Philippe and Padikkal opened the innings for RCB in that game. The two openers stitched a 71-run partnership before Rahul Chahar dismissed Philippe. RCB kept losing wickets at the other end, but it did not impact Padikkal as he completed his second consecutive half-century against the Mumbai Indians.
RCB posted 164/6 on the board, but an exceptional performance by Suryakumar Yadav guided MI home in Abu Dhabi. It will be exciting to see if Devdutt Padikkal can continue his splendid form against the Mumbai Indians in the IPL this year.