N. Thakur Tilak Varma, who was the leading scorer with 397 runs from 14 games for Mumbai Indians (MI), which failed to make it to the play-offs in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), said playing in the high profile league was a huge learning curve.
“Meeting so many legends and interacting with them and the invaluable suggestions they made regarding my game should only help me to be a much better cricketer,” the 19-year-old Varma said in a chat with
Sportstar on Tuesday.
And the advice from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, MI’s mentor, will remain with the exciting batter. “You have the patience, all the strokes, adapt to the given conditions, stay in the present. And more importantly never forget the routines like preparing for any match till the end of your career.”
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“Even Rohit bhai advised me before my IPL debut against Delhi Capitals (where he scored 22), to think of the team’s cause. That will help ease the pressure. Treat any match like a practice match,” Tilak Varma recalled.
The gifted left-hander, tipped to be the next best bet to play for India from Hyderabad, said the biggest lesson from the IPL was to stay positive.
Tilak Varma waving to his coach Salam Bayash (right) after guiding Mumbai Indians to victory against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
PHOTO: Special Arrangement
“Yes, I do believe that IPL is a huge turning point in my career. And being the top-scorer was in a way I felt I reposed the confidence of the team management which also had someone like the Sri Lankan legend
Mahela Jayawardene,” he said.
On the atmosphere in the Mumbai Indians camp, Varma, who is now back at his hometown, feels like being away from his family members. “Such was the bonding. I am grateful to every member – be it the players or the support staff – for making me feel so comfortable and an important player of the team,” he said.
“Well, the best moment was when I scored 52 and helped the team win against Chennai Super Kings. Yes, it would have been great if only our team had qualified for the play-offs,” Varma said.
Referring to the gesture of waving to his coach Salaam Bayash, who was watching from the stands, when Varma guided the team to win against CSK, the Hyderabad cricketer said the coach was watching his
IPL match for the first time. “I owe everything to him. He has been with me from the beginning when I was just 11. It was a great feeling to see him watch my batting,” he said.
“My parents – Nagaraju and Gayathri – watched my first IPL match and undoubtedly it was an unforgettable, emotional moment too,” he said.
In the future, Tilak said his ultimate dream is to play for India and will continue to work hard to keep improving. “The IPL stint is just the beginning of a new chapter in my career,” he added.
Significantly, Tilak is gearing up for the Tiger MAK Pataudi T-20 championship being organised by the HCA from June 7.
“Playing in any match, my first objective is to see the team win,” he signed off.
For his part, his coach Bayash hoped the day may not be far off when Varma plays for India. “If proof was needed of his potential, Tilak showed that in the IPL. He got all the qualities to make it to the Indian team,” Bayash said.