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Maybe we fell 10 runs short: Tilak Varma

Last updated on 07 Aug 2023 | 06:12 AM
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Maybe we fell 10 runs short: Tilak Varma

The 20-year-old said West Indies bowlers used the conditions to their advantage and didn't allow Indian batters to dictate terms

India’s new middle-order batter Tilak Varma said the team fell short by around 10 runs in the second T20I against West Indies. The Men in Blue failed to defend 152 on Sunday (August 6) and are now trailing 0-2 in the five-match series. 

Opting to bat, Hardik Pandya and Co. failed to take the attack to the West Indies’ bowling unit. Tilak, who impressed on his debut, slammed his first international fifty and was one of the few Indian batters who did well on the two-paced Guyana surface. 

Ishan Kishan (23-ball 27) and Pandya (18-ball 24) also got some runs, but it wasn’t enough. Nicholas Pooran smoked 67 off 40 deliveries and the hosts ended up chasing down the total with two wickets to spare. There was a mini-collapse at the end but Akeal Hosein and Alzarri Joseph got their team over the line in the penultimate over.

"The wicket was on the slower side and two-paced. We thought 150-160 would've been a good score. Maybe we fell 10 runs short, but it was a good performance (by our batters),” said Tilak, who scored 51 off 41 in his only second match and became the second-youngest Indian to hit a fifty in T20Is.

"Of course, credit to Pooran because he has batted really well. He put the pressure on the bowlers. We knew that if we could get one wicket, we could save the game because the wicket was on the slower side and it wasn't that easy to bat. It was a bowler's wicket. Unfortunately, it's such a funny game, it can turn around and we could've made a comeback."

The 20-year-old said West Indies bowlers used the conditions to their advantage and never allowed Indian batters to dictate terms. "They bowled really well," he said.

"They used their slower ones and hard lengths really well. They used the wind conditions really well, credit goes to them. We'll sit and have a chat and come back stronger."

Talking about his relationship with head coach Rahul Dravid and Pandya, Tilak said: "I've been with Rahul sir since Under-19 world cup. He always tells me to follow my basics and spend as much time at the wicket. He always tells me to enjoy my game. 

“Hardik bhai was also telling me the same thing. He told me you've done well in IPL and domestic, so just enjoy your game."

The young left-hander has been superb in the Indian Premier League since his debut and that has helped him graduate to the international level. In 35 IPL games for Mumbai Indians, Tilak has smashed 740 runs at an average of 38.95 and a strike rate of 144.53.

"Everyone knows that the two IPL seasons were my turning point. I am here because of my performances there. So I am just playing with that confidence and going forward I want to continue what I've been doing.

"In my first IPL season, he (Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians captain) told me that I am an all-format player and that was a huge boost for me. That gave me a lot of confidence. He told me from then that I have to be consistent and for that I need to be disciplined off the field. So I take his guidance and have been following the things he has told me to do."

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