What do you eat, the Mumbai players asked me: Mohammed Azharuddeen | Cricket News

MUMBAI: “I like playing white ball (cricket) more than red ball,” he says, before giving a simple explanation of his preference. “The white ball travels (in the air) a little longer than the red ball, that’s all. It’s good to see when the ball goes like that,” he nods as if he’s piloting a plane in paper.
Mohammed Azharuddeen sent the ball flying numerous times when he exploded 11 sixes and nine fours in his unbeaten 54-ball 137, which helped Kerala beat Mumbai by eight wickets in a Syed Mushtaq trophy match Ali T20 at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday evening. . His 100, out of just 37 balls, was the second fastest in tournament history. He pulverized the hapless bowlers in Mumbai so much that they started bumping into him, “They just started laughing at me. Bhai, kya khata hai (brother, what are you eating!). -you hit those big six? ”he reveals.
“I didn’t expect to hit a 100 from 37 balls. I worked on my stick against the fast bowling. I practiced the strokes I played in the game, hitting hard against the fast bowlers, ”he said. “I love it and I’m good at hitting straight. It was a real wicket so I walked in with confidence,” he adds.
The 26-year-old goalie’s bizarre move is expected to earn him a handsome prize at the IPL auction in February and help him fulfill his ambition to play in the lucrative tournament. “My goal is to play in the IPL this year. Since my debut for Kerala in 2015, I haven’t had the chance to beat in the first order, perform and make it to the IPL. This year , I’m clear. in my mind what I want to do and how to approach a match. I was a little confused as to where I should hit, in the middle or on the cue, and how to get to the IPL However, this year I was clear paying attention to where I want to hit and how to approach a game, ”he said in a zoomed interaction with reporters.
Ask him about the price tag he expects from the IPL auction, and he shies away. “I’m in a good area. I’m not worried about the auction. I’m just focusing on our fourth game against Andhra,” he said.
Naturally, you are tempted to ask him if he has met the man whose name he is named, former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin. “I met him three times. My older brother (Kamaruddeen) gave me his name because he was a big fan of him. I told Azhar sir too. If he saw (my sleeves), that will be nice, “he says.
Back in Thalangara, his family reportedly relished Azharuddeen’s assault on Mumbai bowlers. “My family is crazy about cricket. Everyone in my family has played inter-district championship matches. They couldn’t make it big, but they really supported me. I have seven older brothers, and each of them played cricket so obviously they followed shots. If the game isn’t live on TV, they follow my score on the net, “he tells you.
Belonging to the current generation, it is not his namesake that Azharuddeen takes to be his hero. For him, and all the young cricketers of Kerala, their idol is Indian player Sanju Samson, who leads Kerala in this tournament. “Sanju bhai is my role model. I have been since I was 18. Even if I need a bat, I will ask Sanju bhai. Whether I am very confident or weak, the first thing that comes to my mind is: talk to Sanju bhai and talk for only two minutes, and everything will be fine, ”he said.
He admits that, being a “bat keeper like him”, “Sanju bhai” is also his competitor. “It’s a good thing. If I want to replace Sanju Bhai, I have to be better than him,” he said. And what did “Sanju bhai” say to him after his incredible outing the other day? “For me that (the heats) was a surprise, but Sanju Bhai said to me, ‘Every day you play just like that. In this match, it just happened, that’s all. For him , this (blow) was not unexpected, ”says Azharuddeen.
Has he beaten like this before? “I play those kind of shots in league games in my hometown (Thalangara). I scored a 42-ball 142 in a small field in a local game there. However, never in a decent game (I never hit like that) “, he replies. Ironically, 48 hours after his incredible innings, Azharuddeen was out for a duck against Delhi on Friday. “It was a good ball of Ishant Bhai”, he admits.
Having won all three matches so far, Kerala, second in Group E, appear to be in great shape and ready to qualify for Mushtaq Ali’s knockouts. “We played as a team. It doesn’t matter which player plays it. At the end of the day we just have to win the game. That’s it,” he said.
A return to the opener this season, after an unsuccessful stint in mid-range, seems to have done Azharuddeen some good. “Basically I’m an opener. I was an opener when I played age group cricket, then my debut (in Kerala) in 2015 and junior cricket. After Dav Whatmore came in as a coach of Kerala, he made me beat in the middle order, because he thought the team needed a batsman like me there. I moved there for the needs of the tram. It was not a good niche for me actually, so I asked our new coach (Kerala) Tinu Yohannan to allow me to beat, “he explains.
“It wasn’t like I specially prepared to play against Mumbai. I never look if I play in Mumbai or Delhi. I just prepared like I do before a game in the past and I am entered my zone, ”he summed up.

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