Devdutt Padikkal can join the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team in Chennai immediately after he tests negative for COVID-19, as he does not need to undergo the quarantine process, RCB head coach Simon Katich stated.
This will come as a big relief to RCB, which opens its IPL campaign on Friday at Chennai. Padikkal, who tested positive on March 22, is currently recovering at home in Bengaluru.
“Devdutt will be available for practice immediately after he arrives in Chennai. From what I’ve been told, he does not need the quarantine process. The medical officers have informed me that Devdutt can came to Chennai and start training straightaway. In a way, he is in the same situation as Virat (Kohli), Washington (Sundar) and A.B. de Villiers, who get out of quarantine on Wednesday,” Katich said in a media interaction on Tuesday.
Katich backed Yuzvendra Chahal to come good in the IPL, despite the leg-spinner’s recent struggles. In the India-England T20I series last month, Chahal picked up only three wickets in three matches, at an economy rate of 9.9. He was replaced by Rahul Chahar in the last two outings.
Chahal’s IPL record, however, is undeniably impressive. The 30-year-old finished the previous two editions as RCB’s highest wicker-taker. Chahal is also the ninth-highest wicket-taker in IPL history, with 121 scalps.
“England are a very good team, and Chahal had a tough time. However, in the IPL, his record is second to none. He’s done a great job for RCB. Chahal bowled very well in our first practice match — he took wickets, got spin and had all the variations. At his best, he’s a match-winner. We start our tournament in Chennai, which historically assists spinners,” Katich said.
RCB has four specialist spinners — Chahal, Washington Sundar, Adam Zampa and Shahbaz Ahmed — to choose from.
Katich stated that he is comfortable with the safety measures that are in place in the IPL, in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases. The league has suffered a few scares, with groundsmen and staff at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai testing positive, apart from some players (KKR’s Nitish Rana, DC’s Axar Patel and RCB’s Padikkal) and team staff.
The cases are a lot higher in India this time around. But we confident that the people employed by the BCCI will ensure that the bubble is not breached,” Katich said.