Two of Indian cricket’s most talented and up-and-coming players, Tempo sensation Prasidh Krishna and elegant left-hander Devdutt Padikkal will represent Royals Sports Group’s franchise, Rajasthan Royals, as their second franchise in the league. While the former had played for Calcutta, Padikkal was with the Bangalore franchise. But as Season 15 of the IPL begins, the Karnataka duo are clearly upbeat and focused on performing for the Royals.
“When I came to a new franchise, I was a little nervous, but everyone made me feel at home straight away and I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said the 21-year-old Padikkal.
“Rajasthan Royals has always been a very proud franchise. I’ve heard great things from a lot of people associated with the franchise. It’s been a good start here and I’m really looking forward to the next two months with the team,” added Prasidh Krishna.
Before joining the Rajasthan side, the pair had good games at the Ranji Trophy, helping Karnataka advance to the next round of the four-day tournament.
Discussing his IPL prep, Padikkal, who amassed 260 runs averaging 52 for his state team, said: “We had a good run in domestic cricket. It was good to get some runs and add to the team. Moving from Ranji to the IPL is certainly a challenge, it’s about switching that mentality from red ball cricket to white ball cricket and making the small adjustments that it takes to get going,” added the southpaw.
Commenting on Karnataka’s presence in the Royals dressing room this season, Prasidh said: “We have a great squad and of course knowing the likes of Devdutt, KC and Karun helps to settle into a new team. Ever since we were picked up by the royals, we’ve been eagerly awaiting to have a great time with the franchise, and we have every faith that we can do well.”
Meanwhile, Pacer, 26, is also delighted to be working with the Sri Lankan coaching duo: “Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga were legends of football and to have the chance to work with them is a great opportunity for me personally. I’ve had a few conversations with Malinga and really enjoy learning from him.”
Padikkal, on the other hand, was particularly looking forward to working with a batsman in the Royals squad because: “I’m really looking forward to sharing the dressing room with Jos Buttler. de Villiers) was in Bangalore. He has that influence on opposing bowling and I look forward to batting with him.”
With an important season on the horizon, both players stressed the need to be flexible in their roles and embrace challenges for the team.
“I feel like I can play all three roles as a fast bowler, whether it’s on the power play, middle overs or death. I’ve developed my skills a lot over the past four years and I’m ready to take on any role I’m given,” said Prasidh.
Padikkal expressed a similar mindset: “I’m always open to beating what the team asks of me. T20 is such a format that you have to be flexible and adapt to different conditions.”