21st century born Padikkal’s finds ‘feat’ on debut

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Colombo, July 28 (IANS) Devdutt Padikkal, who became the first player born in the 21st century to play international men’s cricket for India, scored 29 off 23 balls on his debut in the second T20I against Sri Lanka here on Wednesday.

The left-handed opener, who hit a six and a four, was drafted into the playing XI after eight players were put in isolation for coming in close contact with Covid-hit Krunal Pandya.

Padikkal, who was born in 2000, turned 21 on July 7.

Fellow openers Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill, who have represented India at the top level, were born in 1999.

The Karnataka batsman had been in good form in the run-up to the series. He scored 737 runs at an average of 147.4 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy domestic one-dayers.

He also impressed in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year, scoring 473 runs in 15 matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore. In IPL 2021, he amassed 195 runs in six matches.

While he is the first player born in the 21st century to represent the Indian men’s team, Shafali Verma (born in 2004) and Jemimah Rodrigues (born in 2000) have represented Indian women’s international side.

Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Zadran was the first player born in the 21st century to debut in a men’s international game in December 2017.

–IANS
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