Simon Katich recently divulged how Virat Kohli groomed Royal Challengers Bangalore youngster Devdutt Padikkal during IPL 2020. The RCB coach said that the team management had specifically asked Kohli to take Padikkal under his wing and instill discipline, work ethic and a winning mentality in the young opener.
Devdutt Padikkal is now one of the brightest young talents to come out of RCB, having won the IPL Emerging Player Award in 2020.
In a chat with BBC Sports, Katich explained why Kohli was asked by the RCB team management to help improve the 20-year-old's game.
"Given his experience and the esteem he is held in in Indian cricket, last season we asked Virat to mentor Devdutt. Devdutt was a kid playing his first IPL, which is a long, physically and mentally-draining tournament. We saw times when he started really well but there were times when teams started to work him out with their tactics," the RCB head coach said.
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Katich added that Virat Kohli urged the Karnataka batsman to work on his fitness. Another area where the RCB skipper shared his experience was tactics and strategising against the bowlers.
"There were also times when he (Devdutt Padikkal) started to physically tire, particularly in an innings where we would get to the 20 or 30-ball mark. He could get fatigued, make a mistake and get out. Virat urged him to work on his fitness when the tournament was over, knowing the standard of IPL is a level above domestic cricket. He's a great young kid and Virat also talked a lot of tactics with him, how teams were going to bowl at him and how to counter that," Katich said.
"A lot of credit goes to Padikkal, who worked on his game in the nets, but Virat was able to guide him on what to do next. He was prepared to give up his time and knowledge," Katich added.
The pair of Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli shared an unbeaten 181-run opening stand against the Rajasthan Royals this season, helping RCB win by 10 wickets. Padikkal has started IPL 2021 in blistering form, scoring 171 runs in 4 games at a brilliant strike rate of 158.33.
Simon Katich has his say on whether Virat Kohli can become a successful coach in future
The RCB head coach believes Virat Kohli has all the qualities necessary to become a successful coach in the future.
"Virat has achieved so much in the game and I am sure he has got a lot more goals to achieve with this India team. But with his sheer hard work, discipline and skill, Virat has all the credentials (for becoming a coach) and there is no doubt players would listen to him," Simon Katich said.
Following their heavy defeat to CSK, RCB will look to get back to winning ways when they take on an in-form Delhi Capitals (DC) today in Ahmedabad. DC will undoubtedly be wary of the opening pair of Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal in their upcoming match.