Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) head coach Simon Katich believes that young opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal has a 'big future' in front of him and it has started in this season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Padikkal played a crucial role in the team's eight-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals be it in fielding or batting. He took a brilliant catch at first slip to dismiss Jos Buttler (22) and then in 17th over he caught Mahipal Lomror (47) at long-off.
Chasing a moderate total of 155, Aaron Finch departed early after scoring just eight runs. Padikkal and skipper Virat Kohli had a 99-run partnership for the second wicket.
Meanwhile, Padikkal scored his third half-century of the season. He played a knock of 63 runs before he was bowled by Jofra Archer in the 16th over.
AB de Villiers and Kohli had an unbeaten stand of 34-run and took the side over the line. Kolhi remained unbeaten on 72 runs while ABD scored 12* runs.
"In terms of preparation, we did play a practice match at 2 pm a few weeks ago just to acclimatize but until we get out there it is never easy. I thought he (Padikkal) was magnificent in the field today probably more important than anything. The catch he took to get rid of Jos Buttler was magnificent. He did some very good work in the field. He is a very talented young player, he has a big future in front of him and we are seeing a start of it in this IPL," Katich said in the post-match press conference.
According to Katich wicket was on a slower side in Abu Dhabi as compared to Dubai and it did not help spinners much.
"Wicket played pretty well today. Probably looked on the little bit lower sie compared to Dubai but in terms of we played and runs we scored I think most of the batsmen felt like it was just a little bit slower than Dubai. There was not much spin and still played well in the second innings," RCB head coach said.
When asked about any change in the game plan for the day game Katich said, "I do not think it change the game plan too much, the biggest challenge was obviously how we adapted physically because spending 20 overs in that head can have an effect on the batsmen. We saw that in our innings...."
Commenting on all-rounder Chris Morris' fitness Katich said he is yet to prove his fitness although the South African is doing good in the training and will be available for the selection soon. Morris is currently recovering from a side strain.
According to the coach, it will hard to change the winning combination of the side.
"He has to prove his fitness still, he is getting close. He had another good bowling session today and I think he is feeling more and more comfortable with that. He is tracking very well, he has done a little bit of fielding and batting the other night in Dubai. We are hoping that he might be too far away but at the same time, it is hard to change the winning team as well. We want this team a hard team to break in so we have to wait up once Chris is fully fit," Katich concluded.
Kohli-led side have six points from four games and they will now next take on Delhi Capitals at Dubai International Stadium on Monday, October 5.
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