Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, Devdutt Padikkal has also benefited immensely from the guidance of India 'A' and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid. Incidentally, Padikkal went to the same school (St. Joseph's Boys High School) as the former India captain, in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: India Under-19 opener Devdutt Padikkal, who was part of the team that won the Asia Cup in Bangladesh recently, recalled how batting tips from Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid improved his game.
On Sunday, India U-19s defeated Sri Lanka U-19s by 144 runs to win the Asia Cup in Dhaka. Padikkal, who batted at No 3 in the final, scored a 43-ball 31.
The left-hander from Bengaluru had recorded the highest individual score in the tournament with 121 against UAE.
Now back home, the 18-year-old is set to travel to Gujarat to play for Karnataka in the U-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy.
In May this year, the Kerala-born youngster was "awestruck" following a meeting with Tendulkar but gained a lot from the Master Blaster's advice.
"I was a part of the NCA camp for U-19 players in Dharamsala. Sachin sir's son Arjun too was there. Sachin sir came and spoke to us. He gave me some valuable batting tips on how to improve my game. It was really wonderful to listen to him. At first, I was awestruck, but the way he spoke, it was really nice of him," Padikkal told MyNation.
Apart from Tendulkar, he has also benefited immensely from the guidance of India 'A' and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid. Incidentally, Padikkal went to the same school (St. Joseph's Boys High School) as the former India captain, in Bengaluru.
"Rahul (Dravid) sir has spoken to me a couple of times. I went to the same school as his. When he came to our school for a function, I spoke to him. He told me, 'I have seen you in newspapers. You have been doing well, continue in the same way'. It was nice to know that Rahul sir knew about me. He has always been open to give advice. Even during the U-19 Quadrangular series, he came and gave tips for the team," Padikkal said.
The senior #AsiaCup is over and it over to the juniors.— BCCI (@BCCI) September 30, 2018
India U19 are off to a flying start as they beat Nepal by 172 runs and UAE by 227 runs today. Opener Devdutt Padikkal made 121 from 115 balls. pic.twitter.com/ooJFQOFInn
When asked who he idolises, Padikkal explained, "I did not idolise anyone in particular but I like watching Gautam Gambhir. He is my favourite batsman. I have always liked watching him bat. I have not got a chance to meet him so far, hopefully I will get an opportunity soon."
Describing the Asia Cup experience as "wonderful", Padikkal was happy to have contributed to the team's success.
"It was a wonderful platform for all of us because to represent the country at such a young age is always a pleasure. It was really important for the entire team to have a good tournament. In the end, coming out victorious was like cherry on the top," Padikkal said.
"It was really important for me, the experience which you have playing at that level. Performances do matter but it is about how you progress from there. This is a stepping stone for your future. It was important and really nice that I could contribute to the team," he added.
Padikkal revealed that it was due to his maternal uncles that he took up the sport. They played age-group tournaments for Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
All over! INDIA U19 clinch the #AsiaCup with a dominating 144 runs win over Sri Lanka U19 in the final. India remained unbeaten in the tournament.— BCCI (@BCCI) October 7, 2018
IND 303/3 in 50 overs
SL 160 all out in 38.4 overs pic.twitter.com/dizJDno2y9
"Ever since I was a child, I had a plastic bat in my hand. But I started going for cricket practice when I was nine-years-old. At the time, I was in Hyderabad. In 2011, when I shifted to Bengaluru, I joined Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC). Even before joining a school, I went to KIOC for cricket coaching. My parents enrolled me there and rest followed. Once I represented Karnataka state, I took cricket as a serious profession," he recalled.
Padikkal, who played for Ballari Tuskers in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) Twenty20, says he is more suited to the longer version of the game and his "biggest dream" is to play Test cricket. However, he added that he wants to represent India in all three formats.
"I am more suited to the longer version of the game because I like to take my time at the start of my innings. I like to get settled at the crease and then move on from there. But I have shown everywhere that I can adjust to whatever format I play. However, I would prefer Test cricket. My biggest dream is to represent India in Tests but I would like to play all three formats for the country, that is my top-most goal like any other cricketer," he signed off.
Read Exclusive COVID-19 Coronavirus News updates, at MyNation.
Last Updated Oct 10, 2018, 4:00 PM IST