IPL 2020: RCB coaches back uncapped Devdutt Padikkal

RCB head coach Simon Katich praises left-handed Devdutt Padikkal and adds that captain Virat Kohli backs the local Karnataka boys in the side.

Devdutt Padikkal in action at the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2019-20.   -  FILE PHOTO/ SUDHAKARA JAIN

Opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal has done enough to merit an IPL debut, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) head coach Simon Katich stated in a virtual conference from Dubai on Wednesday. The elegant southpaw was in fine form in the 2019-20 domestic season, finishing as the highest run-scorer in both the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and
Vijay Hazare 50-over tournament.

The 20-year-old, one of the two local lads in the RCB squad alongside Pawan Deshpande, was also Karnataka’s
highest run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy.

Katich and RCB's director of cricket operations Mike Hesson - both of whom attended the virtual conference - will oversee RCB's first training session in the bio-secure environment in Dubai on Thursday, at the conclusion of the mandatory six-day quarantine.

Excerpts.

Simon Katich on form player Padikkal...
 

We’ve been watching Padikkal a lot. Mike (Hesson) saw him closely at the KPL before we made decisions on retention. He dominated in the 50-overs format (Vijay Hazare Trophy), did very well in the Syed Mushtaq Ali, and then followed that up in the Ranji Trophy. The fact that he’s a left-hander helps as well - we do like to have right-left combinations. He’s done everything he can to put his hand up to make his IPL debut this year. It’s now up to him to push his case forward. He’s got a bright future. We're excited by what he can potentially do.

On skipper and batsman Kohli...


The thing that stood out about Kohli during our interactions is that he has that presence. Once you see him up close and in person, you realise how calm and measured he is in terms of his thoughts, and his knowledge of this group. He also has passion and energy for this group. There's a real belief from Kohli that's directed to this group, and his backing of the local boys. I think Kohli's itching to go after such a long break. I don't think having a crowd or not will make any difference to him, knowing how competitive and passionate he is about playing for RCB and IPL, and playing cricket in general.

READ| IPL 2020: A slice of Karnataka in Kings XI is hope for Suchith

Hesson on providing entertainment...

There are many people around the world who are really looking forward to watching cricket, and have been denied the opportunity due to the pandemic. We can focus on putting on some entertainment. A large number of people in India are still in lockdown, we’re going to try and do what we do best, and entertain.

Mid-season transfer
 

The IPL mid-season player transfer option could come to fruition this season, RCB Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson stated on Wednesday.

"That is certainly something that could come to fruition this season. It will come in at some stage, due to the fact that it's hard to get potential replacements. We are very comfortable with the squad we have, but if we get injuries or so forth, then loan opportunities could become an option. We are certainly open to it. You however need both teams to buy into any potential loan. You need to make sure the other side is happy with the loan, and feel that they will benefit from it too. It's not a matter of identifying someone you want; they will have to be allowed to be released as well,” he said.

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