Header Ads

Padikkal a great asset for us: Manish Pandey


Karnataka's Vijay Hazare title-winning captain Manish Pandey showered unhindered praise on his side's young 19-year-old opener Devdutt Padikkal, who finished the tournament at the top of the batting charts with 609 runs in 11 innings, embellished with five fifties and two centuries.
"When you see young guys like Devdutt [Padikkal] getting the most runs in the tournament, it feels really awesome for me as a captain," Manish said in a press conference in the wake of the final which his side won by 60 runs based on VJD method due to persistent rains in Bengaluru during the summit clash.
The first of Padikkal's five fifties came in Karnataka's second fixture of the tournament against Hyderabad. However, the knock came in a losing cause, as Hyderabad pulled off a stunning heist in Alurm, successfully defending a modest 198 and catching Karnataka short of the target by 21 runs. Padikkal, who looked set at the crease after his fifty, was touted to take his side past the finish line, but fell in the 41st over with the team on 155, leaving the tail with too much to do in a low-scoring run-chase.
Pandey believes it was that game that changed Padikkal's approach for good, and transformed his mindset into a no-loose-ends approach: "I think what changed him [Devdutt] as a batsman was definitely the Hyderabad game, the one we lost, because he was batting well till then. He was getting those fifties."
After that game, Padikkal scored 79 against Mumbai, back-to-back hundreds against Saurashtra and Goa, a 50 against Puducherry and a 92 vs Chhattisgarh - each of them ending in triumphs for Karnataka.
"I think his mindset changed (in a way that) his focus was to bat till the end and get those big hundreds for us. I think that's what has happened. That one game against Hyderabad hit him quite a bit because he was the only (remaining) batsman to bat till the end. If he had batted through, we would have won. It was a learning game for him. I'm glad he overcame that and batted the way he batted the whole tournament. I think he is a great asset to have up the order and I'm very happy with his performances," said Pandey of the prodigious opening batsman.
The skipper also praised the collective effort of the entire squad, which ensured there was no defeat after the shocker against Hyderabad in the league stage. Two out of the top four batsmen in the tournament were from Karnataka: Padikkal (609 runs at 67.66) and KL Rahul (598 runs at 66.44).
In terms of the Karnataka's bowling, Abhimanyu Mithun hogged the limelight, finished with a five-wicket haul and a hat-trick at the summit clash and bagged 20 wickets - only the joint fourth-highest wicket-taker, striking once every 22 balls.
"Everybody put their hard work towards this championship. I thought, to start with, the bowlers, batsmen, everybody had a goal in mind. We got the support of the senior guys; we're always there and looking to do well for Karnataka all the time. This is what makes us a good team. And whoever comes in wants to perform, be it the bowlers or the batsmen. I think the camaraderie that we have is amazing. Glad to have a team like this."
Manish, who recently made his way back into the national reckoning after the 2019 World Cup, finished the tournament with 525 runs, which included an unbeaten 142 off 118 balls against Chhattisgarh, scoring at an average of 105, and striking at an impressive 108.02.
"It's [been] a good season for me. I thought if I'm batting No.4, I had to be there till the end, take the extra responsibility for the team's cause. Little sad I didn't get to bat in the last couple of matches; I was very eager to bat. But if the team is doing well and the boys are scoring and performing well, I'm very happy to be sitting here with the championship," said a cheerful Karnataka captain.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.