Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opener Devdutt Padikkal continued his dream run with the bat as he scored an elegant half-century in his team’s final league match of IPL 2020 against Delhi Capitals in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Padikkal scored a 41-ball 50 in the match, which turned out to be the highest score by an RCB batsman in the innings. This was the fifth time that Padikkal had scored a half-century this season, more than captain Virat Kohli and star batsman AB de Villiers.
Only Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper KL Rahul has more fifties than Padikkal in the ongoing season, having scored five half-centuries and also a century. Padikkal in 14 innings has 472 runs to his name at an average of 33.71 and strike rate of 126.54.
With his 50-run knock against DC, Padikkal has now surpassed DC’s Shreyas Iyer by becoming the highest uncapped Indian run-scorer in a debut IPL season. The southpaw also eclipsed Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan by breaking the record of most fifties scored by an uncapped batsman in a debut season. The previous best was held jointly by Dhawan and Iyer as the Indian batsmen have scored four fifties apiece in the 2008 and 2015 season of the IPL.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) November 2, 2020
What is the secret to Padikkal’s success in IPL 2020?
The basics. A tall left-hand batsman with quick feet and outstanding timing.
Padikkal’s success is built on his off-side play. And in case one has forgotten, bowlers still target the top of off stump with the new ball, even in T20 cricket.
Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada tried to do that and were lofted for boundaries over cover point. The shots brought RCB skipper up to his feet, his eyes bulging out of his head. They were hit that cleanly.
No left-hander has made more runs (236 at a strike rate of 136) through the off side than Padikkal. His weight transfer into the ball, his balance at the crease and his timing are all great assets for him going forward.