IPL 2022: Getting cap from Rohit really pumped me up; gave me confidence, says Tilak Varma
Mumbai, May 4 (IANS) In IPL 2022, Mumbai Indians' left-handed batter Tilak Varma has had a run which every young player would dream of.
In a season where Mumbai had to face eight straight losses before finally getting a win against Rajasthan Royals, Varma has been a breath of fresh air in a famed batting line-up, becoming the highest run-getter for the side with 307 runs in nine matches at an average of 43.86 and strike-rate of 137.05.
Varma believes that getting his maiden IPL cap from Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma gave him the boost to be one of the finds of the tournament.
"I always liked Rohit bhai, so getting the cap from him really pumped me up and gave me confidence. He keeps telling me that I shouldn't take pressure in any situation, and says, 'The way you enjoy and play, keep enjoying your game that way. You're young, this is the time to enjoy it. If you ever lose that, it doesn't come back. So the more you enjoy yourself and play, positive things will come to you. If you feel the sad today, feel the pressure, and the match doesn't go well, you won't have the time to go back to a good space. So enjoy yourself. Bad days will come; good days will also come,'" recounts Varma on the official website of Mumbai Indians.
Varma further revealed how Sharma has been guiding him when the side was on an eight-match losing streak. "Right now, Mumbai Indians are having a bit of a down phase. We're playing well, but due to small errors, we're losing matches. So even now he tells me that I'm doing really well and I don't need to change anything. These things happen, and we will come back, you're doing well, so keep enjoying yourself."
"He always tells me this, and it feels very nice. He has told me to always enjoy myself and that is something I remember always. It will stay with me for my life in general too. And it is working too. If I've started well, it's because of that."
For Varma, apart from Sharma, head coach and Sri Lanka batting great Mahela Jayawardene has been helping him in shaping up from technical as well as the mental front of batting. "He talks to me about my batting and makes suggestions. If I back myself to play a shot and get out in a game, he tells me to not stop myself from playing that same shot in the next game. Because that is my scoring shot, so you can get out on it too, but you'll get runs from it also. He makes one mentally strong."
Apart from Sharma and Jayawardene, Mumbai's director of cricket and India left-arm pace great Zaheer Khan has taught Varma about advantages of visualisation and adapting to different circumstances in the game.
"He keeps telling us to be aware of our surroundings in each match. Every team is different, the bowlers are different, the strategy is different and the pitch is also different. Even if we play in the same ground, the breeze could be different on another day. So he advises us to get used to the surroundings and visualise, so that you can get used to them quicker. If you adapt to the situation, it becomes easier to navigate that situation. You don't need to think too much; you will automatically get thoughts on how to handle it."
In the squad, Tilak has built a strong friendship with South Africa batting prodigy Dewald Brevis, who shot into limelight with being the leading run-scorer in U19 World Cup this year and resemblances of batting style with AB de Villiers. "We're close off the field too. Since we're of similar ages, we gelled quickly. He's often in my room, whenever we go somewhere we go together. Now we're so close we understand each other very well too, on the field and off it."
"So it's become very easy to bat with him in a match. The understanding is great, and we can go up to the other and tell him if something's going wrong. That makes it very easy in a match. And when you are doing well on the field, automatically the bond becomes stronger off the field too."