Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Fit-again Padikkal says “happy I’m back scoring runs as well”

From just two First-Class centuries before the current season, Devdutt Padikkal has quickly tripled his hundreds count after slamming his fourth First-Class century this year – three in Ranji Trophy and one for India A – here against Tamil Nadu on Friday.

Apart from the big scores, a striking feature of his performance this year has been how quickly he has scored those runs.

“When you come into a state like Tamil Nadu, they are expected to dominate, and I just wanted to make sure that I don’t give them that [chance] in the first session of the match. I hope that could give us some momentum for the rest of the game,” said Padikkal about his aggressive approach after taking just 131 balls to reach his century.

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Padikkal was fearless to take on the TN spinners and was particularly severe on Sai Kishore hitting the left-arm spinner for four boundaries and three sixes. “I was just waiting for them to flight it up a little bit. Both are good bowlers and were bowling consistently in those [good] areas. So we were waiting for them to flight it up a little bit more and trying to use that opportunity because whenever those opportunities come, you have to score runs off them. Otherwise, you will probably get stuck,” he explained how he tackled them.

After a lean patch in the last few years, the 23-year-old is relieved to be back amongst runs now that he is healthy. “Honestly, I wasn’t doing too well in the last couple of years. My performances were naturally dipping because of that. It’s not a great place to be when you’re not scoring runs. Now that I am completely back in terms of my fitness and health, I am really happy I’m back scoring runs as well.”

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