Image Credit: IPL/AP
The young Karnataka cricketer Devdutt Padikkal, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL, has picked Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne in his fab-four, ahead of world number 1 ODI batsman Babar Azam. Padikkal, while speaking to ESPNcricinfo, snubbed the Pakistan skipper when asked about who would he pick in his fab-four given an option between Azam and Labuschagne. Padikkal said he would pick Labuschagne over Babar Azam, without giving an explanation for the snub. In the video, the 20-year-old also said that he would like to face Australian speedster, Pat Cummins, over Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
When asked to pick his favourite cover drive between former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and West Indies legend Brian Lara, Padikkal said he would choose the current BCCI president's shot as he has grown up watching him play. Padikkal also mentioned that he would like to play at the World Test Championship final over the ICC T20 World Cup, adding "I feel Test cricket is the ultimate challenge". The RCB talent further chose Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo over Barcelona great Lionel Messi as his favourite footballer.
The stylish batsman stole the show from his skipper Virat Kohli the other night as he smashed an amazing century to help his team register a 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR). Padikkal knocked his maiden IPL century as he scored 101 runs off 52 balls with a staggering strike rate of 194.23. Padikkal, alongside captain Kohli, chased down 177 runs in only 16.3 overs. Padikkal was adjudged the player of the match for his mind-boggling inning.
The Devdutt Padikkal hundred vs RR also broke a record that was previously held by Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj Singh had the previous record of the highest score by an RCB batsman vs RR in the history of the IPL. Yuvraj Singh created the record when he scored 83 runs from 38 balls in Match 35 of IPL 2014. Devdutt Padikkal was also the leading run-scorer for RCB in IPL 2020 with 472 runs in 15 matches. The promising batsman was retained by the Kohli-led team for IPL 2021, which did not begin as expected for Padikkal as he contracted COVID-19 before the start of the tournament. However, Padikkal made a strong comeback and proved his worth at the top.