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Apart from reaching the playoffs, if Bangalore had another positive in the IPL 2020, it was youngster Devdutt Padikkal. The elegant Karnataka opener relieved skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers from the top-order pressure and often gave the team the start it needed. Padikkal notched up four half-centuries and also went on to bag the 'Emerging Player' award, courtesy of his 473 runs throughout the campaign.
While the Bangalore skipper has openly praised the youngster for his heroics this season, Padikkal has now revealed that Proteas veteran batsman AB de Villiers also had a hand in motivating him. Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Padikkal revealed that after his 70 runs knock against Mumbai, AB de Villiers had sent him a special message where he asked him to continue playing the way he was.
“I remember when we were travelling back from the Mumbai [Indians] game in which I got the 70 , he sent me a text message saying continue to do that and you’re playing really well, just stay in the zone and enjoy yourself," Padikkal said.
"That was really special because, coming from him, it was a great honour. I really enjoyed batting with him whenever I could because he makes your job so easy. He just takes on the bowlers from ball one and I enjoyed watching him," he added.
Despite being roped in by Bangalore in 2019, Padikkal could not make it into the playing XI even once. However, after a series of impeccable performances in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Padikkal found his way onto the field and scored a brilliant half-century on the debut itself.
Highlighting that he had to work on the mental side of the game, Padikkal added, "So that’s what I was working on and whenever I got a chance, even in domestic tournaments, I wanted to make sure that I took responsibility and tried to take the team home even though there were some international cricketers in our Karnataka side. That’s something I really wanted to work on because I knew that when I came into the IPL, there will be big players around and I knew I’d want to be the one to take the responsibility."
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