Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians head coach heaped praise on young player Tilak Varma for his batting performances in the ongoing IPL 2022 edition. The former Sri Lankan skipper believes Tilak Varma has adapted well to different roles and the demands of the franchise’s difficult situation.
Right-handed batter Tilak Varma is currently the highest run-getter for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2022. The southpaw has scored 376 runs in 11 matches at an average of 37.60, striking at 131.46 with two fifties. His best of 61 came against the Rajasthan Royals at D.Y. Patil Stadium.
Mahela Jayawardene Feels Tilak Varma Is The Standout Player For Mumbai Indians
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s game, Mahela Jayawardene believes Tilak Varma has been the standout player for them, hailing him for responding well to the challenges of the bowling and conditions.
The 44-year old said: “Yeah, I think if you pick on individuals I think Tilak is the standout, scoring almost 400 runs. He’d been asked to do few different roles for us this year, batting at three, batting at four, even at five, and finished a game recently. I think the process for him, he’s been challenging himself in different situations against good bowling units. He’s responded well and shown lots of good qualities along the way.”
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old’s knock against the Rajasthan Royals came in a losing cause as the five-time champions fell 23 runs short of the target. Chasing 194, Tilak Varma’s presence kept them afloat; however, his wicket turned the tables on the Mumbai Indians.
Mahela Jayawardene Is Happy With The Way Youngsters Reacted To Situations And Feels They’ve Learnt A Lot
Mahela Jayawardene also believes that the youngsters performing well have justified their selections. The Sri Lankan legend feels exceeding their expectations in such a competitive tournament gives the upcoming players plenty of options for the future.
“At the auction, we made a conscious effort of bringing in youngsters into the squad and we knew that they are talented and exciting prospects. During the season, we had the opportunity to give them games, sometimes in the season where we haven’t been able to. Through that, they have put their hands up and performed.”
He continued: “It’s great for us to see how they handle pressure, how they are in the middle, especially in IPL cricket it’s not easy. So, overall very happy with the way those young guys have reacted to those situations. They’ve learnt a lot and we’ve learnt a lot about them. As a franchise, moving forward, it gives us a lot of options in how we need to rebuild the team.”
Mumbai Indians, who are out of the playoffs race, will face the Delhi Capitals in their final match on Saturday, May 21. In the earlier encounter between both teams, DC won the match. Tilak Varma has been the find of the season for MI, playing at different positions in the batting order but racking up runs on a consistent basis.
Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene was brutally honest in his assessment after their early exit from the IPL, saying they failed to take control of crucial moments and did not play good cricket. Mumbai is likely to end up last on the points table even if they manage to win their last game against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.
Arjun Tendulkar could finally get a game as MI face DC in their last league game of the season at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Mumbai Indians should now look at resting some of their key players, including captain Rohit Sharma, pacer Jasprit Bumrah, and keeper Ishan Kishan and give younger players a chance in their place considering they are out of the race for the playoffs. Sidelined for illness recently, DC’s in-form opening batter Prithvi Shaw is expected to be fine for the game against MI.