But for many who noticed Devdutt earlier, the efficiency didn’t come as a shock. Former India and Karnataka pacer Dodda Ganesh is one among them.

Five years in the past, Ganesh, then the South Zone bowling coach, couldn’t take his eyes off a younger left-handed batsman at an under-16 nets at Wayanad, Kerala. The lad from Karnataka performed photographs with confidence, precision and energy, qualities that foretell a coach about an upcoming batting expertise.

A younger Devdutt Padikkal (Middle Row, 2nd from proper), Dodda Ganesh (Front row, Left, Image: FB)

“He was quite talented then itself. I could tell that this boy was different, there was something special in him. He was tall, had a lot of shots and showed lot of presence of mind. He was always one step ahead of bowlers,” Ganesh informed MyKhel.

Ganesh was immediately reminded of former West Indian legend Clive Lloyd. He explains. “As anyone grew up in the 80s, I had also watched those legends in the TV. When I watched Devdutt at nets and matches, the first picture came into my mind was that of Clive Lloyd. Perhaps, it was because this lad too was very tall and played his shots with lot of power and his timing was also something at a different level,” stated Ganesh.

Ganesh had additionally acquired one other affirmation of his perception that Devdutt was going to make it huge in cricket.

“The stalwarts of Karnataka cricket always keep a watch on the budding players. When players like Rahul Dravid and later KL Rahul came to the scene, former stars like GR Viswanath and Brijesh Patel were convinced that they are certain to leave a mark at the top level. In Devdutt’s case too there was no difference, the word from those stalwarts was that we have another promising player from the Karnataka stables. When I saw him closely in the Under-16 and Under-19 (at Visakhapatnam) teams, I realised that we are indeed looking at a future batting star,” stated Ganesh.

So, what units Devdutt aside? “He has a lot of talent of course. But at the same time, he has the right mindset. Even during the age-group cricket, I have seen him reading the situation well and has the ability to pace his innings. Importantly, he can play shots all around the ground, our own Mr 360 if you may. I am sure he will have a bright future and he should be groomed as the future captain,” he stated.

Ganesh additionally has a phrase of warning for Devdutt. “He has done well in the IPL so far and lot of people will now be talking about him. He has been a grounded boy from the beginning and should remain so to scale bigger heights. He has players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers as captain and should learn from them, and in the near future I am sure he will be in the race for an India cap. Karnataka already have two openers in India team, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal and this boy could also soon be in the line with them,” stated Ganesh.

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