Mumbai Indians (MI) youngster Tilak Varma is having yet another memorable season with the franchise. He did exceedingly well in the previous Indian Premier League (IPL) season, notching up 397 runs at a strike-rate of 131 and in his second year with the team, he has 214 runs at a strike-rate of 135 so far.
On Tuesday (April 18), Tilak walked in in the 12th over against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) following Suryakumar Yadav's dismissal and put on 56 runs off just 32 deliveries with Cameron Green to set up an excellent platform for the final 20 balls or so. In the end, MI got to 192 for 5 with Green finishing unbeaten on 64 off just 40 deliveries.
Tilak, who was part of India's Under-19 World Cup team in 2020, says that Mumbai never treated him as a newcomer and in fact have allowed him to grow and become a more mature player.
“The first season , I was a youngster, but since then, I always had the team back me. They don’t see me as a youngster or a newcomer to the team. They always help me mature as a player. So it was pretty easy for me to manage, unlike the first year," Tilak said in the post-match press conference.
“The team [Mumbai Indians] treat me in a way that I never feel like I'm playing the IPL or any other tournament for the first time. Being amongst the God of Cricket (Sachin Tendulkar), the Indian captain (Rohit Sharma) and everyone, I feel confident and comfortable with them.”
Tilak also revealed that he is comfortable with playing in any situation.
“I am always comfortable playing in any situation. I have worked on my game on the ground accounting for all possible situations. I always tell the management that I am confident to bat anywhere, in any situation. So they are also confident and hence send me out to bat," Tilak, who plays domestic cricket for Hyderabad, said.
SRH, on the other hand, lost their third game of the tournament. Head coach Brian Lara reckons that losing wickets in the powerplay is hurting the team, while acknowledging that their middle-order is still a work in progress.
“It’s a work in progress. We need to have guys who are thinking the game throughout right till the end,” Lara said.
“There are some great examples in the IPL. [Rahul] Tewatia, [David] Miller, we do need that sort of person to understand how to calculate going down, who are the bowlers going to come and plan properly. We’ve been working on that.”
“We weren’t the best team today. We have to accept that. Mumbai Indians was the better team today."
Lara reckons losing wickets at regular intervals was the main reason SRH could not chase down 193, and could not stay in the game for longer periods.
“It was difficult but we batted pretty deep. We were always in with a chance but losing wickets always sets you back," Lara said.
“We bowled pretty well in the powerplay. I didn’t see a problem there. They lost their first wicket in the fifth over probably and we lost it in the second over so that sets you back,” he added.
After losing their first two games in the competition, MI have gone on to win three in a row and find themselves with six points from five games. They take on Punjab Kings (PBKS) next on Saturday (April 22). SRH though have just four points from five games so far and will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday (April 21) at Chepauk.