Mohammed Azharuddeen, who was picked by RCB earlier in the IPL Auction, admitted that it was a surreal feeling to be picked by the franchise and stated that he wants to pick skipper Virat Kohli’s brain. Alongside that, he also expressed his excitement about making it to the star-studded changeroom.
Since his debut in 2016, for Kerala, Mohammed Azharuddeen has quietly gone about his batting in the early days. It was only in the 2021 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where the batsman’s exploits were well known to the IPL franchises, which prompted RCB to purchase him. In the 20-over tournament, opening the innings, Azharuddeen scored a 54-ball 137, against a strong bowling lineup in Mumbai to chase down 201 in under 16 overs.
From thereon, it was only a matter of time before the opener was going to be picked in the IPL Auction. Having been picked by RCB, in a star-studded dressing room, the batsman admitted that it was an amazing feeling to be picked by the franchise and added that he wants to pick Virat Kohli’s brain.
"It is an amazing feeling. RCB is my favourite team. Playing under Virat bhai will be special for me. Virat bhai is like an icon and idol for me in cricket. It's a dream come true to play under his captaincy. It still feels like a dream. I am so excited to share the dressing room with him, take some batting tips and fitness lessons," Azharuddeen told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
He also narrated an incident, where he was shocked when Virat Kohli personally texted him, after he was picked by the franchise in the Auction.
"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 added.
This time around, RCB have extended their batting arsenal, with the pick of Glenn Maxwell, who struggled last time around with KXIP in the IPL. However, Azharuddeen insisted that the IPL would be a huge learning opportunity for him, especially sharing the dressing room with the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, something that he hails as a ‘dream’.
"It will be a huge learning process for me. I am really looking forward to sharing the dressing room with the best batsmen in the world - Virat bhai, ABD, and T20 specialist Maxwell. I really want to learn a lot from these legends," Azharuddeen said.