Mumbai Indians’ (MI) performance in the IPL 2023 league stage wasn’t quite up to the mark. After an inconsistent start, the five-time champions peaked at the right time to register some crucial wins.
They finished the league stage at the fourth spot with 8 wins from 14 games, and RCB’s defeat to GT in the last league match paved the way for MI to enter the playoffs.
Apart from Suryakumar Yadav’s brilliance, two young batters – Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera – stood up for Mumbai Indians in the league stage.
While Tilak amassed 397 runs from 14 games in IPL 2022, the southpaw has featured in only 9 matches this season so far, scoring 274 runs at an average and strike rate of 45.67 and 158.38 respectively.
On the other hand, Wadhera has played 12 games for the franchise this year, scoring 214 runs at an average of 30.57 and a strike rate of 141.72.
Ahead of MI’s Eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants, skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera, backing them to follow the footsteps of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
Rohit expects the two players to become ‘huge stars’ for both the franchise as well as Team India in the next couple of years.
“Honestly it’s going to be the same story what has happened with (Jasprit) Bumrah, Hardik (Pandya) and all these guys. That’s the same story that will happen with guys like Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera. Watch the next two years, then people will say ‘arey ye toh superstar team hai (they’re a team full of superstars)’," said Rohit while talking to Jiocinema.
“These guys are being scouted and they are trained. These two guys are gonna be huge stars for us, and for India," he added.
Tilak Varma has not played for MI since the game against Punjab Kings on May 3 and there has been a huge suspense around his fitness. It remains to be seen whether he can be fit in time for the Eliminator, while Wadhera is expected to retain his place in the playing XI