Tilak Varma shines on debut despite India lose opening T20I


Tilak Varma was not expecting to make his India debut so soon in his career, but having realised his dream, he is hoping to achieve his next target win a World Cup for his country and team. The 20-year-old Varma, who was part of the 2020 U-19 World Cup squad, scored a fearless 39 off 22 balls in his maiden outing with the senior India team during the opening T20I against the West Indies, which the visitors lost by four runs. The 20-year-old southpaw dispatched West Indies’ quickest bowler, Alzarri Joseph for back to back sixes over deep square leg to announce his arrival in international cricket. His third and final six came off an aerial drive of pacer Shepherd. It was not the easiest of pitches to bat on and most of the Indian batters found stroke making tough. “Everyone has this dream of playing for the country, I never thought that I will be able to play for India so soon in my career, because, after the Under-19 World Cup, there was the coronavirus issue which happened, so I thought let me just use the opportunity that I get,” Varma said in a video posted by the BCCI. Varma, who plays for Mumbai Indians, amassed 343 runs at an average of 42.8 in 11 matches in the 2023 IPL season, besides scoring 397 runs in 14 matches in the 2022 edition. “From childhood, it has been my goal to win India the World cup. In my mind, I always think about ways how to win the World cup. I keep visualising every day that I will go and bat in this number and win World Cup,” he said. “Now I got the India jersey and I used to visualise, but now, it has come true, so I feel that moment (of winning World Cup) will also come soon. This is a great feeling, I can’t express it, everyone asks me but I am just feeling really happy and proud. So taking it step by step, let’s see how it happens.” While the upcoming ODI World Cup is scheduled to be held in India in October-November, the next T20 World Cup, co-hosted by the West Indies and USA, is expected to begin on June 4 next year. Varma also received a surprise message from his MI colleague, Dewald Brevis of South Africa, congratulating him on his India debut. “Hey brother, I hope you are very excited. I don’t know if I am more excited than you, but I just want to say from my side and from the Brevis family, congratulations on your debut,” Brevis said.