Young left-handed opening batter Devdutt Padikkal feels that the upcoming Maharaja KSCA Trophy is a great platform to provide opportunities to talented cricketers in Karnataka.
In the recent draft of the tournament, Padikkal was drafted into the Gulbarga Mystics side alongside India and Karnataka colleague Manish Pandey.
Padikkal came into the national radar with sparkling performances for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) before being signed on by the Rajasthan Royals in the mega-auction ahead of 2022 season, where they finished as runners-up. He had also turned out for Bellary Tuskers in the erstwhile Karnataka Premier League (KPL).
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“Karnataka has a huge amount of talent and I have played with most of the players while growing up. And I have seen players coming from various parts of the state. So, they’re not any less talented than players in Bengaluru.”
“They definitely need to be given the opportunity and I feel this tournament will provide that opportunity. To have them around will only improve the quality of the tournament. As long as we are getting games and we are out there, that’s all that matters, at the end of the day, we are here to play,” said Padikkal in an official release.
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Padikkal, who made two T20I appearances for the Indian team on their tour of Sri Lanka last year, is a firm believer of giving his best self on the field irrespective of whether he’s picked in playing eleven or not. “For me throughout my career, progress has been step by step and there hasn’t been any sudden big jumps. It started from U-14 and then up to the Ranji team, and it’s been a proper line of progress.”
“The KPL too came at the right time for me as I felt I was ready to put myself out there and show what I am capable of. I was playing well at the time and to have the platform for any young cricketer, anywhere in India, is a great thing.”
“My mindset in terms of selection and getting picked to play for a team changed when I was playing in the U16s, and it never bothered me if I wasn’t picked. I was just trying to play the game and enjoy myself.”
“You of course want to be there playing for India and even in the IPL, you want to do well always, but that’s not how things work obviously. As long as you are showing up and giving 100%, that’s all that matters because that’s the only thing in your control.”
Asked about how he keeps himself fit during the hectic cricketing calendar, Padikkal put it down to eating healthy and doing the essential correct things during training. “Fitness-wise you have to just make sure you are doing what you need to do and regularly. At times it’s easy to relax a bit when you’re playing all the time but it’s important that you continue to work on yourself and your fitness.”
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“There is no diet plan as such but I make sure I eat properly and keep an eye on the food. But what I make sure I do is that I don’t miss my sessions, the more you miss sessions, you are missing out on progress, even if that is one percent.”
Gulbarga Mystics Squad: Mansur Ali Khan (Coach), Rajashekar Shanbal (Assistant Coach), Santosh V (Selector), Sachidananda (Video Analyst).
Players: Manish Pandey, Devdutt Padikkal, Karthik CA, Manoj Bhandage, Vidwath Kaverappa, Kruthik Krishna, Abhilash Shetty, Kushaal M Wadhwani, Pranav Bhatia, Shrijith KL (WK), Ritesh Bhatkal, Mohit BA, Rohan Patil, Dhanush Gowda, Mohammed Aqib Jawad, Shreesha Achar, Jeshwanth Acharya, Aaron Christie.
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