Ashwin: Tilak Varma’s Left-Handed Batting a Crucial Asset for India World Cup

Tilak Varma has garnered significant attention since his impressive entry into international cricket. The young batsman from Hyderabad was granted his first international appearance last week during the initial T20I match against the West Indies in Trinidad. Although the team hasn’t secured a win in the ongoing 5-match series, Varma has stood out as a notable positive aspect within the squad led by Hardik Pandya.

Varma marked his introduction to international cricket by hitting a six, swiftly followed by another maximum, showcasing a strong start to his career as an Indian batsman. After his dynamic 39 runs off 22 balls in the series opener, he continued to shine in the second match in Guyana, achieving his inaugural half-century on the international stage. He managed to score 41 runs off 51 balls, claiming the highest score for the team in that game.

Tilak Varma’s dynamic initiation into international cricket has garnered praise from numerous past and present cricket players, including the experienced Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. In his recent YouTube video, Ashwin shared his perspective on Varma, highlighting the advantage of Varma’s left-handed batting skills for India, especially considering that many opposing teams lack a finger spinner to challenge left-handed batters.

“This is neck-and-neck with respect to the World Cup. So, will they think about Tilak Varma as an option if we don’t have enough backups? Because Sanju Samson has performed really well in ODIs. But the exciting part about Tilak Varma is that he is a left-hander and Team India is lacking left-handers. Jaddu is the only left-handed batter in the top 7,” Ashwin said.

“And look at the off-spinners from all the top teams. Australia have Ashton Agar. England have Moeen Ali and a leggie in Adil Rashid. So, most teams don’t have a finger spinner to challenge the left-handed batters. That is why the emergence of Tilak is crucial. It is still early but will they see him as an option? He has at least made everyone notice him. He is surely in the contingency plan. Because any selector who would have seen that knock would have gone, ‘Woah!’” he added.

Ashwin remarked that Tilak Varma’s batting style, particularly his pull shot, bears a strong resemblance to Rohit Sharma.

“His batting style is very unlike for an Indian making his international debut. His game resembles a lot like Rohit Sharma. He sweats on the pull shot. Generally, Indian batters won’t set up to play the pull shot. It is something they develop later. But his game looks like he has a natural pull shot and sends the ball outside the rope like an Aussie batter. Too early to call, but that knock was stupendous,” he said.

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