MUMBAI: It is a challenge to hit boundaries in the middle overs, concedes Royal Challengers Bangalore‘s young star Devdutt Padikkal but he found the task to be relatively easy thanks to the partnership with skipper Virat Kohli in the IPL game against Rajasthan Royals.
Padikkal notched up his maiden hundred of the IPL on Thursday, putting to rest all talks about his strike rate after a couple of unimpressive outings.
The 20-year-old smashed an unbeaten 101 off 52 balls in an opening stand of 181 with Kohli as RCB registered an emphatic 10-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals.
“It’s about the situation of the game, I always have a particular role that I have to play and I have to do that as well as possible,” Padikkal said at the post-match press conference.
“Sometimes it can get challenging in the middle overs and it’s not easy to hit boundaries all the time.
“It was a good wicket, we had the partnership going and we were complementing each other well. So, in that situation it was easier to hit those boundaries because we are always rotating the strike,” he added.
Asked what was on his mind when he was inching closer to his maiden century, Padikkal said he wasn’t thinking about his milestone as the win was more important.
“To be honest, I was just looking to finish the game off, that’s what mattered the most. We wanted to get the win as early as possible and when I was out there I was never really thinking about my hundred,” said Padikkal.
Padikkal enjoyed a breakout IPL season last year followed by an impressive domestic campaign with Karnataka. In the ongoing edition of the T20 league, he has scored 137 runs in three games at a strike rate of 147.31.
“In the last two seasons, I’ve only looked to keep things simple and I have not tried to do anything different and special. I have tried to stick to my process, be as consistent as possible and thankfully I have been able to do that,” said Padikkal.
The youngster, who had tested positive for COVID-19 before the start of the tournament, had missed out on the first match against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
However, Padikkal was back in the RCB playing XI from their second game.
“Coming out of COVID definitely was a big challenge and I was really glad that I was able to contribute to the team’s win from the second game.
“As long as I am contributing and the team is winning that what that matters to me,” said Padikkal.
RCB will next take on former champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday.