Mohammed Azharuddeen says Virat Kohli welcomed him in the RCB team just minutes after the IPL Auction 2021. The 26-year old boy from Kerala rose to fame and became the talk of the town when he smashed a 100 in India’s highly competitive domestic T20 tournament, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He was talking to Sportskeeda in a recent interview where he revealed about his happiness for playing in the Virat Kohli-led team.
On 13 January 2021, no one was expecting Kerala to win against the highly talented Mumbai team in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but Azaharuddeen had different plans. After scoring 196 in the first innings, Mumbai was confident going in to the second innings. Mumbai’s captain Suryakumar Yadav was bagging on the bowling experience in his team, but the target of 197 was made to look like a small pile by the 26-year old youngster. He smashed 137* in 54 balls and won the match for Kerala in just 15.5 overs. Click here for the full scorecard of that Mumbai vs Kerala game. Watch the highlights of that 137* below:
While talking about the experience of getting picked at the Auction 2021, he said to Sportskeeda, “Two minutes after the auction, Virat bhai messaged me saying, ‘Welcome to RCB, all the best. Virat here.’ The message made me very emotional. It’s not something I could have even dreamt of, that he’d message.” He was extremely happy to represent RCB and to work under Virat Kohli, his “icon”. It was his “dream” to play alongside the Indian captain. Azharuddeen was picked by the RCB at a bargain price of 20 lakh rupees, which was his base price.
The 26-year old Keralite is an opening batsman as well as a pinch-hitter, so it will be interesting to see at what position RCB uses him. With players like Virat, ABD, Maxwell and others already present in the side, selection in the eleven will also be a challenge for the youngster.
“I am an opening batsman. I can give the team a good start, and if I get the start, I can carry on as well. At the same time, it is the team’s needs that matter the most. I will always look at the team’s requirements and be flexible as per what the team needs of me,” he added in the ‘Sportskeeda’ interview.
IPL 2021 begins from April 11 2021.