Vivo IPL 2021: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star opener Devdutt Padikkal has been tested covid positive on Sunday. With him getting infected with the virus, the tally of covid positive IPL players reached 3.
According to RCB management, Padikkal has been separated from the rest of the squad and is sent into isolation.
Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Nitish Rana and Delhi Capitals (DC) all-rounder Axar Patel were also tested positive for covid-19. However, the former batsman has been tested negative and is back with the KKR squad for the practice sessions.
Padikkal’s absence will certainly hit RCB back. The cricketer was in supreme form in the last season. In the delayed season of IPL, Padikkal scored 473 runs in 15 IPL games at an average of 31.53.
In the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy, Devdutt Padikkal was in a scintillating form smacking bowlers all over the park. In the former tournament, he amassed 218 runs at 43.60 average while in the latter 50-overs tournament he piled up a massive 737 runs at an average of 147.40.
Virat Kohli will have to open the innings with another opener in the first couple of games, till Padikkal is not with the team. This could lead to team imbalance however they have ample options available to play at that position.
The ideal choice would be to opt for an Indian cricketer and Mohammad Azharuddeen will be the first choice. Azharuddeen had a fine domestic tour this year. He came into the limelight after scoring a century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy playing for Kerala.
Kiwi cricketer Finn Allen and Rajat Patidar are two more options for Virat Kohli. It will be interesting to watch whom Kohli and RCB management chose as the first choice.