Kerala’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen had impressed the who’s who of the cricket fraternity with his stunning performance in the 2021 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The batsman had hogged all the limelight by slamming a 37-ball century against Mumbai with the help of nine boundaries and 11 sixes.
He ended the elite tournament with 214 runs under his belt in five innings, at an average of 53.50. Azharuddeen was rewarded for his exceptional power-hitting with the willow as he was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) during the auction for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Time and again, the 27-year-old has expressed his love and admiration for the Indian team and RCB skipper Virat Kohli. Recently, in interaction with the Times of India, the wicketkeeper spoke about the first message he received from Virat after he was picked by the Bangalore outfit.
The youngster was watching the auction with his Kerala teammates and after celebrating winning his maiden IPL contract with them, he rushed back to his room only to get surprised seeing a welcome message from the Indian skipper.
“I returned to my room after being congratulated by my team-mates. Just after 2 minutes, I got a message from an unknown number. The message read ‘Welcome to RCB, Azharuddeen. Virat here. All the best. See you soon.’ I was stunned.
“I immediately rushed to Sanju’s room and showed him the message. He (Sanju) checked the number and confirmed that it was Virat bhai’s number. I was so glad and elated,” Azharuddeen said. “In reply, I wrote -thank you so much, sir. That means the world to me,” he added.
He is the best batsman in the world: Mohammed Azharuddeen
Further in the interaction, Azharuddeen revealed that he has a lot of questions for Kohli and wants to know how to be consistent across all the formats while playing cricket at such a big level. At present, Kohli is the only cricketer to have a 50+ average across all the formats and he features in the top 5 of the batsmen rankings by ICC in the three formats.
“Consistency. How can I be a consistent cricketer? This is the first thing I want to ask him (Virat). Ultimately, we all want to represent India someday. For that, we have to be consistent performers. He is the best batsman in the world and he is the best captain as well. His average is above 50 in all three formats. That’s unbelievable. I want to ask Virat Bhai how to be a consistent cricketer,” the Kerala rookie added.
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