Devdutt Padikkal and Prithvi Shaw, who captained Mumbai to a title triumph, were the top two run-getters in the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy. While Shaw amassed a record 827 runs in eight games at an average of 165.4, Devdutt Padikkal finished with 737 runs in seven games, averaging 147.4.
According to the 20-year-old, the competition between him and Shaw benefited both batsmen. Devdutt Padikkal was quoted as saying in a News 18 report in this regard:
“Prithvi (Shaw) has been in really good form, and he is a special player as well. It was good have someone really going at the same rate as I was. He was also pushing me to score more runs; I am pretty sure he also had that in his mind. We were really pushing each other; it is good to have a high level of competition around you; it makes you do better. Eventually, it will help your team as well. That was a great battle within a battle.”
Devdutt Padikkal’s exceptional form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy saw him hitting four consecutive hundreds, making him the first Indian batsman to achieve the feat in List A cricket.
Despite their super showing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, neither Shaw nor Devdutt Padikkal were called up to the Indian team for the ODI series against England. The left-hander, though, is not too concerned and said that he would keep doing his job of scoring runs.
“What I have learnt for the past two-three years is that I can’t be really bothered about the selection. It is not in my control. What I am looking to do is to improve my game every day, work on myself. Two-three years back may be, I used to think a lot about selection, being in the team and stuff like that. In the last couple of years, I have learnt it is important to focus on my game and continue to get runs wherever I am playing. It doesn’t matter for which team, franchise cricket or domestic cricket; I want to make sure I continue to score runs, make my team win. Eventually, when I get there it will be great,” Devdutt Padikkal added.
Virat Kohli understands the game so well: Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal made a memorable IPL debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore last season. He finished with an impressive tally of 473 runs in 15 games at a strike rate of 124.8 and was named the ‘Emerging Player of the season’.
“That was a pretty special experience to have. You get to learn so much from them. The kind of passion and drive they have for the game, the way they play, the way they carry themselves through the busy, long tournament. It is not easy to handle all that pressure, especially when the team is looking at you to take the responsibility. How they handle was great to see, and that is something I picked up from them,” Devdutt Padikkal revealed.
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Speaking specifically about the India and RCB captain, he added that Kohli sets the bar very high. Devdutt Padikkal elaborated in this regard:
“He plays at such a high level; when you are batting with him, you feel you have to really push yourself and match the standard at which he plays. That helped improve my game. Batting with him, he makes the game pretty easy. He understands the game so well, when to take a chance and when to pull back and when to really go after the bowling. When you have so much knowledge and experience, it makes our job very easy at the other end.”
RCB will kick off their IPL 2021 campaign against Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener on April 9.