27-year-old Rajat Patidar made his maiden appearance for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League this season. The right-handed batsman played in four matches in the tournament before the edition was postponed amid rising COVID-19 cases within the participating team.
Four franchises reported coronavirus infections among select members of the staff and squad, which led to the indefinite suspension of the tournament.
Patidar, who scored 71 runs in four games, played an important 31-run knock against Delhi Capitals in his third game for the side, forging important partnerships with Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. The side eventually won the game by 1 run.
In an interview with RCB, Patidar recalled the experience of playing with de Villiers and franchise’s captain Virat Kohli.
“RCB has always been my favourite team because of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. Luckily, I got a chance to play with them. I was nervous before meeting them, but I liked it a lot after coming here,” Patidar said.
“We talked about the match situation and how we can play while being calculative. We knew if we do that right, we can overcome the pressure situation. That is what we were talking about.”
Patidar further said that he derived inspiration to play cricket from India’s batting great Sachin Tendulkar.
“At that time, there was just one name – Sachin Tendulkar. It all started because of him. And then slowly, when I started playing, I started following others like Rahul Dravid, and, from the current lot, I like Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli a lot. I have different idols in different formats,” said Patidar.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore made an impressive start to the tournament, winning five of their seven games before the tournament was postponed. With 10 points, RCB were third in the table.