India captain Rohit Sharma was full of praise for up-and-coming Tilak Varma, who has had an impressive debut season this year in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In his very first season in the IPL, Tilak Varma has come off age playing for the Mumbai Indians. In a season that has seen the five-time champions struggle for rhythm and consistency, Varma has been one of the few bright spots for the Rohit Sharma-led franchise.
Varma has seen a lot of success at a young age – he played domestic cricket across all formats before turning 17. He was also a part of India's ICC U19 World Cup squad in 2020 which made it to the finals but stumbled against Bangladesh.
The rising star showed glimpses of his ability in the tournament in the limited chances he got to bat. In three innings, he scored 86 runs, including a watchful 38 in the final against the Tigers.
Two years later, he has set the IPL on fire. In 12 games, the 19-year-old has scored 368 runs at an average of 40.88, striking at 132.85. He has seven scores of 30+, including two fifties. In just his second IPL game, he smashed a 33-ball 61 against Rajasthan Royals.
In Mumbai Indians' most recent game against Chennai Super Kings, he scored a patient 32-ball 34*. In a low-scoring game, Mumbai were struggling at 33/4 while chasing a paltry target of 98 before Varma held up one end and got his side across the line with more than five overs to spare.
Mumbai Indians skipper was full of praise for the youngster in the post-match presentation, touting Varma for the India cap across all formats in the near future.
"He's been brilliant in his first year," said Rohit. "Having such a calm head is never easy. In my opinion, I feel he is going to be an all-format player for India pretty soon. He is got the technique and the temperament, which is the most important thing when you play at the highest level. Things are looking bright for him."
"There is hunger, when you speak to him, there is hunger to do well, to finish game and have some success as well. I think he is on the right path – he just needs to keep growing and see how he can improve and get better, as a player and as a person as well."
In a dressing room video from after the game, the southpaw expressed his happiness in finishing the game off for his side.
"I have been trying from the start of the season to finish a game for Mumbai Indians," said Varma. "Finally, I got a chance and I want to keep continuing this winning attitude to the next matches."
Varma has the world at his feet at such a young age and has the backing of the Indian captain as well. With a couple of games remaining in the season, Varma will be looking to impress further and knock on the doors of the India selectors.
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