IPL 2021: Mohammed Azharuddeen reveals how Virat Kohli welcomed him to the RCB
The Young Turk also talked about sharing the dressing room with Virat and AB de Villiers.
Updated - Feb 22, 2021 9:00 am
Kerala’s Mohammed Azharuddeen was over the moon after the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) picked him up at his base price of INR 20 lakhs during the auction that took place on February 18 in Chennai. The 26-year-old batsman made his T20 debut in 2016, but it’s only in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he managed to hog the limelight.
In the tournament, he scored 214 runs from five games at an average and strike-rate of 53.50 and 194.54 respectively. The right-hander also scored an unbeaten 54-ball 137 against Mumbai, taking his team to an eight-wicket victory.
After the Challengers secured his services, Azharuddeen revealed how Virat Kohli, the RCB skipper, dropped him a text message. Hailing Virat as a ‘cricket icon’, Azharuddeen sounded excited to play under the 32-year-old’s leadership.
I’m very excited and very happy: Mohammed Azharuddeen
“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,” Azharuddeen was quoted as saying in an interview with Sportskeeda.
“It is something I’m very happy about. Virat bhai is someone I look at as a cricket icon. It has always been a dream of mine to play with Virat bhai. I’m very excited and very happy to be on the same team as him,” he added.
The Young Turk also talked about sharing the dressing room with Virat and AB de Villiers, who both are the leading run-scorers for the Challengers in the IPL.
“I wanted to represent RCB and it’s amazing that they have picked me. It would be a surreal experience to share the dressing room with the likes of Kohli bhai and AB de Villiers. I’m thankful to everyone who helped me get here. It’s all just settling in slowly,” Azharuddeen added.
Apart from Azharuddeen, RCB also went for Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Kyle Jamieson, Srikar Bharat, Suyash Prabhudessai, Daniel Christian, and Rajat Patidar in the auction.
As far as Azharuddeen is concerned, he has 451 runs from 24 T20s with century to show for his efforts. He has also played 22 first-class and 25 List A matches.