ANI Photo | “MI always catches up in middle and end of the tournament…”: Tilak Varma ahead of RR clash

Ahead of his side’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Rajasthan Royals (RR), Mumbai Indians (MI) batter Tilak Varma pointed out his franchise’s slow-starting nature in the tournament and how they have put their loss to Men in Pink at Wankhede behind with a renewed focus on the upcoming match.
In an exciting clash between two batting powerhouses, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will meet Mumbai Indians (MI) for the second time in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.
The Royals registered a stunning two-wicket win away at Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous game last week. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians defeated Punjab Kings by nine runs in their last outing at Mohali on Thursday.
Rajasthan Royals continue their reign on top of the IPL 2024 standings with 12 points and a net run rate of +0.677. The Royals have won six matches and lost one. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians have played seven games this season, winning three and losing four. MI are currently sixth in the IPL standings with six points and an NRR of -0.133.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference, Tilak said that Mumbai always starts slow in the tournament, but always picks up momentum in the middle and the end.
“Except for one year, Mumbai has always been in this scenario (start slow). At the start, we do not start that great, but Mumbai always catches up in the middle and end of the tournament. So, we always believe in our strategy, plans, practices, and everything else. So, hopefully, we will also do that this year, and we are trying to do that,” Tilak said as quoted by MI’s official website.
“We are just focusing on one game at a time and are not looking much forward to the championship. We are just going one game at a time. As I said, we are just planning a strategy, and everything is going well. We will be winning in the coming games,” he added.
The team aims to start well with the bat, especially with the threat of Trent Boult and his new-ball heroics lurking around. Boult had taken three wickets in their previous encounter and restricted MI to 125/9, which RR chased down.
Tilak said that Trent is a “legendary bowler” but the MI batters are also in a good rhythm. He said that the team will start cautiously and play according to the situation.
“The wicket was tricky in the last match against RR, so I will credit Trent Boult; he bowled well,” Tilak said.
“So, we will play cautiously at the start. We will take the time to see how the wicket goes. If the wicket gets going well, our batting lineup is always aggressive, and that power hitting as well. So, we’ll show that same intent. If the wicket is doing something, we will take some time initially, then plan according to the situation,” he added.
Tilak said that MI should not beat RR at their home just because they lost at Wankhede to Men in Pink.
“Cricket is a very funny game. As I said, we will follow the basics and play based on the situation. If we focus too much on the first match, we forget to stay in the present. Staying in the present is the most important thing. As you said, everything is going well with our strategy, plan, and practice. So, we will follow the same basics and move forward. Whatever happens, we will give our best,” he concluded.
Rajasthan Royals Squad
Sanju Samson (c & wk), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Kuldeep Sen, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jos Buttler, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Shubham Dubey, Navdeep Saini, Nandre Burger, Sandeep Sharma, Keshav Maharaj, Tanush Kotian, Donovan Ferreira, Abid Mushtaq, Kunal Singh Rathore
Mumbai Indians Squad
Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (c), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Tim David, Romario Shepherd, Mohammad Nabi, Gerald Coetzee, Shreyas Gopal, Jasprit Bumrah, Akash Madhwal, Nuwan Thushara, Kumar Kartikeya, Piyush Chawla, Naman Dhir, Luke Wood, Harvik Desai, Shams Mulani, Arjun Tendulkar, Nehal Wadhera, Shivalik Sharma, Anshul Kamboj, Dewald Brevis, Kwena Maphaka. (ANI)

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