The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been the perfect platform for the youngsters to shine. By playing with the experienced campaigners, they have been able to make a name for themselves. Talk about the stories of the Pandya brothers and Ishan Kishan, they have been able to represent India at the highest level. Therefore, the IPL provides once in a lifetime opportunity to youngsters.
Another player who has impressed the fans and the experts is Devdutt Padikkal. The Kerala-born batsman represents Karnataka in domestic tournaments. The stylish batsman opened the innings for RCB last year along with some big names like Aaron Finch. And, he performed superbly.
In the 15 matches he played, Devdutt Padikkal scored 473 runs at an average of 31.53. A strike rate of 124.80 showcases his ability to occupy the crease for longer periods. This time too, he was set to open the innings with his captain Virat Kohli. However, Devdutt has been infected with COVID-19 and he will miss the first game of the tournament.
Here we bring you three players who can replace Devdutt Padikkal in RCB line-up for match 1:
3. Mohammed Azharuddeen
During the 2021 IPL auction, the RCB management picked up Mohammed Azharuddeen, a self-proclaimed RCB fan. He made the headlines after scoring the first T20 century for Kerala during the 2021 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. For a player who can tee-off from the word go, he could fill up Devdutt’s shoes with ease. He was bought by RCB for his base price of INR 20 lakhs during the 2021 auction.
He had a superb time during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year. As he opened the batting for Kerala, we can expect Kohli to pick him up to open the innings. His ball-striking ability will help Kohli to take his time to settle down. And hence, there will be a perfect platform for the middle order.
While opening the batting for Kerala, he smashed 214 runs across five matches in the tournament. This means that he had an average of 53.50. Apart from that, his humongous strike rate of 194.54 will be an asset for Kohli’s team. During a match in the tournament, he smashed 137 runs off just 54 balls. Therefore, his ability is justified.
2. Finn Allen
This year, it looks like the RCB management had done their homework during the auction. As Devdutt has been infected with the COVID-19 virus, there are some good options available for Virat Kohli. If he wishes to open the innings, he can open with Finn Allen. The swashbuckling Kiwi batsman has been in top form recently.
During a recent match against Bangladesh, Finn scored a 29-ball 71. During that innings, he smashed ten fours and three sixes which demolished the Bangladeshi bowling lineup. And fortunately for the RCB management, he is a batsman who can attack from the word go. During that match, he reached his maiden fifty in just 18 deliveries.
Even though he stated that he was nervous, he smoked almost every ball. Thanks to his onslaught, the New Zealanders piled up 141/4 in just 10 overs. As it was a rain-affected match, Bangladesh had a huge target to chase. Allen’s talent could be used to provide quick-fire starts for the team. And with big names like AB de Villers and Glenn Maxwell waiting for the opportunity, an excellent start at the top will allow them to play freely.
1. Rajat Patidar
The best thing about RCB’s management is that they provide chances to unknown names. The first thing that comes up when you google his name is Rajat’s 51-ball 96. Without any doubt, he is one of the perfect replacements for Devdutt Padikkal. Apart from that, he scored 54 off 35 balls during a practice match.
As per Mike Hesson, the head coach, he is one of the players who could help the franchise to lift the trophy for the first time. Even after being sold for INR 20 lakh, Rajat could be the player that Hardik Pandya was for MI. Apart from that, he had scored an unbeaten 68 off 29 balls in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. This means just like Finn Allen, Rajat can tee-off from the word go.
The RCB management has been following him for the last two years. This means that even if he fails to make it to the squad, the management is looking forward to including him as a regular member in the future. Adding on, Rajat could play the role of an opener and during the middle overs, he could accelerate the innings. Well, Virat Kohli might take his time to settle if Rajat plays aggressively.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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