Rookie batter Tilak Varma feels the constant guidance from his mentor Rohit Sharma has played a big role in his stellar start to international cricket.
Varma has been the stand-out batter for India in the five-match T20 in the Caribbean. The visitors trail the series 0-2.
“He (Rohit bhai[brother]) has been a support system and always told me to enjoy the game. He always guides me on how to play,” Varma said after scoring his maiden T20 fifty, albeit in a losing cause.
“My inspiration from childhood is (Suresh) Raina bhai and Rohit bhai. I spend the most time with Rohit bhai. In the first IPL, he said ‘Tilak is an all-format player’ and it boosted my confidence.”
Varma hit 51 off 41 balls to guide India to 152 for seven in the second T20, a target which West Indies overwhelmed in 18.5 overs riding on Nicholas Pooran’s 40-ball 67.
“The wicket was slow and double paced. So first we thought 150-160 would be a good score, but I think we were 10 runs short. Credit goes to Pooran, he batted really well. We knew if we get one wicket we can save the match because the wicket was not easy, it was on the slower side,” Varma said about the match.
“They (West Indies) bowled really good, they used slower ones and bowled hard lengths. They used the wind conditions really well. Credit goes to them.” Varma dedicated his celebration after scoring his maiden fifty to Rohit’s daughter Samaira with whom he shares a close bond.
“It was towards Sammy, Rohit bhai’s daughter,” he told reporters after the match.
“I am very close to Sammy. I had promised her that whenever I will score a century or a fifty, I will do a celebration for her,” he added.
Talking about his nascent journey in international cricket, Varma said the key to longevity is consistency.
“International cricket is not easy. To sustain, you have to be consistent. You have to be disciplined off the field, on the field. You have to be disciplined in your work ethic. If you do all these things on a routine basis, you will get good results,” he said.
“The two IPL seasons I played was the turning point in my career. The performances there earned me an India call and I am playing with that performance.”
Varma also has high regard for India’s coach Rahul Dravid.
“I have been talking to Rahul sir since U-19 World Cup. Rahul sir always says that follow your basics and spend as much time in the middle. He always tells me to ‘enjoy the game’.” The third T20I between the two sides will be played here on Tuesday.
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