Star opener Devdutt Padikkal, who is recovering from Covid-19, is likely to miss the first game and will be cutting it fine for the second match on April 14 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The 20-year-old left-hander tested positive for coronavirus on March 22, prior to the team’s departure to Chennai. As a result, he did not travel with the rest of the squad. He is currently at home in Bengaluru and remains positive. He will undergo tests again on Tuesday and Wednesday and once he returns a negative report he can join the bio bubble directly in Chennai.
RCB Medical team is in touch with Devdutt ensuring his safety and well-being. He is feeling well and we can’t wait… https://t.co/Cel4JujRmk
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) 1617553058000
Padikkal, who scored 473 runs for the Bengaluru-based franchise in his debut season last year, will have to undergo another round of testing in Chennai.
Padikkal’s absence will be a huge blow for RCB as he was expected to open the innings with Kohli. In the absence of the team’s leading run-getter in the previous edition, RCB’s options are limited. They released Aaron Finch and Josh Phillipe withdrew from the IPL earlier this month. His replacement, Finn Allen of New Zealand, could fit into the role, especially after his exploits against Bangladesh in the three-match T20 series recently.
The 21-year-old who made his T20 international debut against Bangladesh on March 28, began his career with a nought but finished with a 29-ball 71 in the last match while opening the innings with the seasoned Martin Guptill. The other option for RCB will be Kerala rookie Mohammed Azharuddeen, who scored 214 runs in five matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 this season, including an unbeaten 54-ball 137 against Mumbai.
“Royal Challengers Bangalore, left-handed batsman Devdutt Padikkal had tested positive on 22nd March 2021. He has been in mandatory quarantine at his residence in Bengaluru since then. He will be fit to join the RCB bio-bubble once his RT-PCR tests are negative. RCB medical team is in touch with Devdutt ensuring his safety and well-being. Devdutt is feeling well and we can’t wait to have him join the squad for the IPL season ahead,” RCB said in a statement later on Sunday night.