Royal Challengers Bangalore were one of the most impressive teams initially during the 13th season of the Indian Premier League. They looked like a side reborn and were playing with purpose. After 10 games in the league, RCB had already won seven and looked like a surety for the playoffs. They had a big drop in form during the business end as they lost their last four matches to narrowly qualify for the playoffs.
They managed to get into the last four but lost the eliminator to Sunrisers Hyderabad. But one of the big positives that emerged out of the league for RCB was the determination displayed by opener Devdutt Paddikal. He was a star performer for the team as he top-scored for them in IPL 2020.
READ | ‘We were a bit top-heavy,’ Jos Buttler explains how Rajasthan Royals ‘would have got over the line’
He wasn’t fancied at the start but Padikkal surprised everyone with his consistency with the bat. The RCB opener hit 473 runs this season to emerge as the team’s run-getter, even ahead of his captain Virat Kohli.
In a recent interview, Paddikal talked about his performance in IPL and the player he idolises in cricket.
“Did I surprise myself? In terms of my personal performance, I knew I had runs behind me and I could make an impact,” Padikkal told India Today.
“I used to enjoy his (Gambhir) batting and really liked the fact that he would deliver whenever his team would require it the most. Whenever the team was under pressure you could count on him. He is one of my cricket idols,” says Padikkal of Gambhir.
Paddikal was awarded the IPL 2020 Emerging Player of the Year for his performance in the tournament. Gambhir played an instrumental part in India’s triumph in the 2007 World T20 and 2011 Cricket World Cup as he top-scored for India in both the finals. So if Paddikal managed to reach the level of Gambhir, then it would be a big boost for Team India.