MUMBAI: In a forgettable season for Mumbai Indians, young left-handed batter Tilak Varma has been a bright spot, becoming the highest run-getter for the franchise with 334 runs in eleven matches at an average of 37.11 and strike rate of 136.32.
Earning praise from all quarters for his free-flowing stroke-play, Varma counts himself lucky on being picked by Mumbai in the IPL Mega Auction earlier this year.
"I am very lucky to play for Mumbai Indians because they had legendary cricketers in the team like Mahela sir, Sachin sir. I am very lucky to be picked by the MI team as I got to learn a lot and also got a chance to implement them in the matches," said Varma on MI TV show on Star Sports.
Varma recalled seeing the proceedings of the mega auction and recalled seeing him being picked by Mumbai as a 'dream come true'. "From the 1st day of auction I got myself glued to the TV as I was eagerly waiting for my name to flash on the screen and later when I saw me getting selected for MI team it was a moment of a dream coming true."
"Since childhood I have been watching Rohit sir, Sachin sir and MI has always managed to come back and win the match in any circumstances so that is the one reason why I like MI so much."
Remembering the first time he met captain Rohit Sharma, Varma was left starstruck. "When the first time I saw Rohit Sharma, I got goosebumps on my arm. I wanted to hug and convey my admiration for him but I was very surprised and nervous when I saw him and at the same time I was a little scared too to interact with him."
Varma, 19, who featured in India's squad during the U19 Men's World Cup in 2020, credited his coach in Hyderabad, Salam Bayash, for making him reach where he is currently.
"I started my cricket journey when I was just 11 years old. My coach, Salam Bayash is the main person in my life who encouraged me to play cricket and taught me how to play in every situation. He plays a very important role in my life. If it was not him, I wouldn't have been playing cricket today so all the credit goes to him."