Former Indian batter Virender Sehwag believes Devdutt Padikkal’s stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) could help Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 2. The two franchises will face each other on Friday for a spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 final against the Gujarat Titans (GT).
The 22-year-old ventured onto the scene following a successful tenure with the three-time finalists. The youngster was adjudged the Emerging Player of the Year for his exploits in his maiden full season. H
e scored 474 runs at the top of the order, which included five fifties. After being released by the franchise following IPL 2021, Padikkal was roped in by RR for a price of ₹7.75 crores.
Opining that Padikkal’s experience facing the likes of Mohammad Siraj and Harshal Patel in the nets could prove to be useful, Sehwag said on Cricbuzz:
“Devdutt Padikkal is the player to watch out for. He has played against this bowling attack for around 2-3 years in the nets.”
Padikkal has had a lukewarm campaign so far after being deployed largely in the middle order. The left-handed batter is on the cusp of scoring over 400 runs for the third consecutive IPL season.
“The advantage is definitely with RCB for Qualifier 2” – Virender Sehwag
RR find themselves in a do-or-die situation following a loss against GT in Qualifier 1 at the Eden Gardens. Their opponents, RCB, made it to Qualifier 2 after a high-octane win over the Lucknow Super Giants.
Believing that RCB have momentum on their side on the back of a solid display against the KL Rahul-led side, Sehwag said:
“The way RCB played, the advantage is definitely with them for Qualifier 2. There is no doubt about it. But they will have to play in a similar fashion.”
A memorable hundred by Rajat Patidar followed by a spirited bowling display, especially in the death overs, paved the way for a 14-run RCB win in the Eliminator in their third successive attempt.
Agreeing that Royal Challengers are favorites since they have a win under their belt, former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel said:
“RCB have the advantage because they head into the contest on the back of a win, while RR lost. RCB have momentum with them, RR do not.”
The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host its first match of the season when RCB will face RR for a spot in the final on May 27 (Friday).