Devdutt Padikkal has been making huge waves in the Karnataka cricket circuit and is reckoned to be the next big thing. The Edapal-born cricketer is a left-handed batsman and also bowls serviceable off-spin.
Devdutt first shot into limelight in 2017 when he got picked up by the Bellary Tuskers in the KPL Draft. During the 2017 KPL, he smashed 72 against the Bengaluru Blasters and began to evoke memories of Yuvraj Singh in his earlier days.A year later Devdutt made his first-class debut for Karnataka in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on 28 November 2018. In 15 FC matches so far, Devdutt has scored 907 runs so far with his highest score being 99.
Devdutt was also part of the victorious team at the U-19 Asia Cup. The left-hander notched 183 runs in four matches at an average of 45.75 with a top score of 121 against the UAE in Bangladesh. Devdutt started the 2019-20 domestic season with a bang. In the first game, he compiled a 58 in the opening game of the Vijay Hazare Trophy against Jharkand. There was no looking back for the youngster post that knock. He smashed his maiden list A ton against Saurashtra and followed it up with another unbeaten century in the next game against Goa.
He has 580 runs from 12 T20 matches at an average of 64.44 and a strike rate of 175.75, including a fantastic 122* in what was his debut T20 season for the senior state team.
With ample talent and age on his side, the 20-year-old was roped in by his home franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore, in the 2019 IPL auctions. Unsurprisingly, with not much to show apart from a few good knocks in the Ranji Trophy, Devdutt Padikkal was benched for the entirety of IPL 2019.
IPL 2020 is expected to be a breakthrough season for the superstar as there is high chance that he will be played in the starting XI regularly.
Batting alongside legends such as Virat Kohli, de Villiers, Finch and even someone as experienced like Parthiv Patel can only do Devdutt Padikkal good, even if the pressure of expectations from fans is something that might bog him down.
Devdutt's father was always a cricket enthusiast and he spotted his son holding a bat at just a mere age of 3. The journey started when his family decided to move from Hyderabad to Bangalore only to provide him with a better cricketing opportunity. The Karnataka Institute of Cricket at Bangalore was the ideal place for the left-handed batsmen and soon got enrolled in the summer camp in 2009. Naseeruddin, Devdutt's coach, spotted him batting at the nets and realised that he had a talented kid in his hands.