Tilak Varma has already established himself as one of Mumbai Indians’ batting crisis men in just his second season. While the five-time winners had a disappointing season in 2022, the left-hander’s rise was perhaps the lone bright bulb, as Varma tallied close to 400 runs in his first IPL season, impressing all with his batting.
If anything, Varma’s 2023 season has only gotten better, with significant knocks in four of the five games so far, including a critical 17-ball 37 in Mumbai’s most recent success, a 14-run win over Hyderabad on Tuesday (April 18). Despite a strong start to his IPL career and the capacity to bat at number three, Varma has mostly been deployed as a floater in the middle order. It does not, however, affect him in the least.
“I’m always at ease in any situation and have tailored my game accordingly.” “I’ve also told the management that I can bat anywhere,” Varma stated after the game in a press conference. “They are also confident in me and have sent me to bat in a variety of situations.” “I’m confident that I can bat anywhere.”
While he has already made several memorable knocks in his limited career, Varma’s cameo on Tuesday was special because it was his first IPL game at his home field in Hyderabad. It was a great moment for the local lad, who stepped up once more when Mumbai needed him most to provide a solid middle-overs boost.
“It’s always a dream to play on your own turf.” It’s even more satisfying to play well and then see your team win. I was scared and couldn’t sleep well the night before the game since I was so thrilled. I’ve spent my entire life playing here, and I’m delighted that all of my preparations paid off.”
On a relatively sluggish surface, Mumbai Indians got off to a fast start on the powerplay before slowing down in the middle overs. The Sunrisers’ bowlers, notably the spinners, maintained their discipline to restrict the scoring rate between overs 7-14 at seven runs per over. Varma, who had begun slowly, broke free in the 15th over of the innings.
Marco Jansen, who had bowled an excellent spell up to that point, was bowling his final over, which started with two fours in three balls from Cameron Green. To capitalize on the momentum, Varma completed the left-arm seamer’s stint with successive sixes, capping a 21-run victory. He then went on to smash leg-spinner Mayank Markhande for a six and four.
“It (the pitch) was turning a little bit, and I was just playing the situation,” Varma explained. “Because there was help for the spinners, I didn’t want to attack them and instead waited for the seamers.” Mayank and Washi (Sundar) were bowling exceptionally well, so I decided to play them (safely) before charging the fast bowlers. (Later) I charged Mayank as well because I knew we’d be batting soon.”
We attempted to remain in the game – Lara
Sunrisers Head Coach Brian Lara was pleased with his team’s performance but lamented the absence of solid pairings, which harmed SRH in the end. Mayank Agarwal enjoyed 46 and 55-run partnerships with skipper Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen, but the Sunrisers lost wickets in clumps on either side of these.
“We were always in the game, and I thought the pitch was a 175-180 surface,” Lara said. “It spun and took a little longer to get off the deck.” The Mumbai Indians finished with a score of 192. We attempted to stay in the game, but we kept losing wickets during the chase, which certainly slowed us down. Excellent learning opportunity. They played the better cricket today and won.”
In pursuit of the lofty mark, the Sunrisers failed to get off to a quick start, and a slow powerplay forced them to play catch-up cricket in the middle overs. Lara, on the other hand, insisted that his team’s batting depth meant that they were always confident of making up for the sluggish start.
“It was difficult, but we batted quite deep.” With Bhuvi and Markhande at 10 and 11, respectively, and Sundar at 9, we felt we were always in with a shot. Losing wickets is always a setback. A new batsman in the middle will always take a few balls to settle in. So that’s something for us to consider. We had a set hitter bat through in both of our victories. No matter how deep your hitting order is, you must ensure that the correct batters take advantage of the opportunity.”
Even before the game began, one of the key discussion points was SRH’s decision to leave out express pacer Umran Malik, who had started practically every game since his debut. Instead, the Sunrisers strengthened their spinning options by bringing in Washington Sundar, and Lara stood firm when discussing the team choices.
“We thought the pitch had a nice turn to it.” We obviously have a lot of options when it comes to bowling first. It’s a difficult scenario since you want to keep your impact guy, Abdul Samad, for batting. “I believe we played the best team for the pitch and the opposition.”
The Sunrisers’ next match is against the Chennai Super Kings on Friday (April 21), while the Mumbai Indians visit the Punjab Kings on Saturday (April 22).Tilak Varma is self-assured and eager to take on any role.