U-19 World Cup selection a dream come true for Hyderabad’s Tilak Varma

Thakur Tilak Varma, a gifted young batsman, hopes to make a mark for India in the marquee event in South Africa.

Tilak Varma (right) with coach Salam Bayash. Photo: V. V. Subrahmanyam

The success story of Thakur Tilak Varma of Hyderabad might well be a gentle reminder that to make a mark in any sport one should have a combination of talent, commitment and patience.

Tilak, a gifted young batsman, is now in the Indian U-19 squad for the forthcoming World Cup in South Africa.

Tilak, who cracked a century against Pakistan in the quarterfinal of the recent Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, believed in his coach Salam Bayash at the Legala Cricket Academy since he was just 10, training there since it was close to his home in Lingampally. To his credit, Salam ensured that the young talent got everything he deserved in training sessions.

“Once he scored 460 runs with two centuries and two fifties in the South Zone U-14 grade, I was confident of Tilak going to places,” says Salam with pride in a chat with Sportstar.

‘Huge responsibility’

Tilak, who made his Ranji Trophy debut against Andhra last season at Vizianagaram, scoring 5 and 34, says his selection in the Indian team is a dream come true. “I thought I had an 80 percent chance of making in view of my scores. But, again, I feel it a huge responsibility at the same time to repose the faith in me,” he says.

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“Now, I have got a chance and will try my best to make most of it,” says the southpaw.

Scoring big was never an issue for this young talent having hit five centuries and three half-centuries before being picked for the last Asia Cup (U-19). “Fortunately, I don’t feel any pressure in any given situation, patience being my strength,” declares Tilak.

Tilak is a big admirer of Suresh Raina, whose advice to him was to focus on both academics and cricket and not to think too much and too far.

For Tilak, Rahul Sir (Dravid) is an amazing personality. He wishes to benefit the most with the interactions and advice from the latter at the NCA in Bengaluru where the Indian team prepares for the World Cup. “Yes, for sure, I want to make a mark in the World Cup to move closer to the dream of playing for India seniors,” he signs off.

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