Aditya Tare held his nerve to help Mumbai Indians  beat Rajasthan Royals in a close contest in IPL 7 © IANS
Aditya Tare held his nerve to help Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals in a close contest in IPL 7 © IANS

Aditya Tare endeared himself to the Mumbai Indians fans as his six against Rajasthan Royals sealed their progress into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 playoffs. It was the most tense moment anyone could have faced as Tare walked out to bat needing a boundary on the first delivery itself. As he swung his bat at a full-toss, everything would have gone in blur as pandemonium struck at Wankhede Stadium. Shrikant Shankar writes that the Mumbai Indians batsman must use this glorious opportunity to rise.


The cricketing World was watching as Aditya Tare walked into bat for Mumbai Indians to face the fourth delivery of the 15th over against Rajasthan Royals. Confusion was spilled in both camps as they assumed it was all about chasing the target in 14.3 overs. By the time Tare took reached the crease, he realised that he hadn’t lost yet. There was enormous pressure as Mumbai needed a boundary [four or six] on that very delivery to qualify for IPL 2014 playoffs. What preceded his arrival will go down in IPL folklore. Corey Anderson and co. were inching close to producing a cricketing miracle. But all the hard work and drama boiled down to that very delivery.


James Faulkner ran in and bowled a poor full-toss on the leg side. What happened next will go down in history as the miracle. Tare swung his bat and launched the ball, backward of square on the leg side, almost into the final tier of the Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai had not only won the match, but stormed into the IPL 7 playoffs at Rajasthan’s expense. Tare then wildly celebrated the victory in front of Shane Watson and the Wankhede crowd. He stole the headlines after the incredible work done by Anderson, Ambati Rayudu and the batsmen before him.


If people did not know who Tare was before, they certainly do now. It is ironic that Tare would smash Rajasthan’s dreams on the last ball bowled in the IPL 2014 group phase as it was them and Mumbai who battled it out to get his services in the auction. Tare impressed for Mumbai towards the later stages of the successful IPL 2013 campaign. Mumbai wanted him, but so did Rajasthan. His base price was Rs 20 lakh, but after battling over numerous bids, Mumbai were successful in a whopping Rs 1.6 crore final offer. Money well spent, one would presume.


But as Tare and his contribution will be discussed for a few more days, he has not had it easy. Tare started the IPL 7 campaign, but lost his wicketkeeper’s place to another glovesman in CM Gautam. After constant changes, Mumbai decided to persist with the million-dollar Tare. Now he has been part of the Mumbai Indians side for a while. He played in the 2010 season and then directly the 2013 season. The 2014 season has him get an extended run with the team.


Tare is also part of the Mumbai team in domestic cricket. His records in First-Class cricket read – 22 matches; 1,448 runs; 40.22 average; highest score of 222; four centuries and five half-centuries. He played a key role for Mumbai in the 2013-14 domestic season. These are good numbers, but he hadn’t had a breakthrough. After putting the hard yards before, it took Tare only one delivery to come into the limelight as he hit a Super Six. That is how the game of cricket is. The difficult journey starts now; once you are in the limelight, you need to make sure you stay under it for as long as possible.


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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)