‘We asked Virat to mentor him’: Simon Katich reveals how Kohli groomed Devdutt Padikkal
Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich has revealed how skipper Virat Kohli groomed young opener Devdutt Padikkal in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League. Padikkal had a phenomenal season in 2020. The Karnataka batsman amassed 473 runs at a strike rate of 124.80 in his debut season, including 5 half-centuries.
In a conversation with BBC Sports, the RCB head coach said that the team management had specifically asked Kohli to mentor Padikkal and instil work ethic and a winning mentality in him.
“Given his experience and the esteem he is held in in Indian cricket, last season we asked Virat to mentor Devdutt. Devdutt was a kid playing his first IPL, which is a long, physically and mentally draining tournament. We saw times when he started really well but there were times when teams started to work him out with their tactics,” Katich said.
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“There were also times when he started to physically tire, particularly in an innings where we would get to the 20- or 30-ball mark. He could get fatigued, make a mistake and get out. Virat urged him to work on his fitness when the tournament was over, knowing the standard of IPL is a level above domestic cricket. He’s a great young kid and Virat also talked a lot of tactics with him, how teams were going to bowl at him and how to counter that.
“A lot of credit goes to Padikkal, who worked on his game in the nets, but Virat was able to guide him on what to do next. He was prepared to give up his time and knowledge,” he added.
Katich further opined that the RCB captain possesses all the qualities required to become a successful coach in the future.
“Virat has achieved so much in the game and I am sure he has got a lot more goals to achieve with this India team. But with his sheer hard work, discipline and skill, Virat has all the credentials (for becoming a coach) and there is no doubt players would listen to him,” Simon Katich said.