‘It’s a wonderful, brave and smart choice’: Tilak Varma’s selection in India’s ODI squad for Asia Cup 2023 hailed by Tom Moody

Tilak Varma was rewarded for his impressive performances against the West Indies in the recent Twenty20 series.

IND WIIndia’s Tilak Varma lets a ball slip past West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran during the T20 cricket match at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Trinidad and Tobago. (AP)

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Tilak Varma, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul were named in India’s 17-man squad on Monday for the Asia Cup.

While Rahul and Iyer are returning from injuries, Varma was rewarded for his impressive performances against the West Indies in the recent Twenty20 series.

Left-handed uncapped batter Tilak Varma has been making waves on the domestic circuit.

As a talented fighter he has a bright future ahead of him. Not only is he a good timer of the ball but also has the ability to score runs in all conditions. He is also a good player and is willing to take risks.

What makes him a valuable asset for the Indian team, is that he can also bowl off-spin.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, former Australian cricketer Tom Moody spoke about the talent and variety that Tilak Varma has in the squad and said “I think he is a great choice. I will say brave, but in the same breath I say smart. He is clearly a player on the rise as I mentioned earlier. He has not only skill, but also a tremendous temperament, and he shows it on a regular basis. We’ve talked about the value of the left-hander in the top order, so for him to come in at that number five or six position will be valuable for India, especially to have that balance against spin.”

Moody also spoke about how there is no discord behind India’s team selection decisions, he said, “Well, firstly what looks good is the fitness, the tick that both KL Rahul and Iyer. This has been the real talking point for the last few weeks. You know both quality players, both really add body and experience to this middle order. I enjoyed the openness and honesty that came out of that press conference.

“I think communication is very important sometimes, be it India or any other country. There can’t be a cloak-and-dagger press conference where you have these hidden messages, and then you come out of a press conference no clearer than you did when you walked into that press conference. So I think clarity in their messaging was very important. I liked the fact that they made it very clear about the decision to rotate the wrist, because they only went for a rotating wrist and only small points around it.

“The little buzz that may have come up with KL Rahul, just little things like that, you can’t help but get behind the new chairman and this team because you feel like you’re involved, you feel like you’re part of the journey now instead of not being you are sure of what exactly is happening. So I think there are obviously a lot of people who follow Indian cricket, more than anyone in the world. So I think the strength of Indian cricket will be behind this pair and this team.”

Meanwhile, former India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik called for rookie Tilak Varma as a viable option, apart from keeping Suryakumar Yadav in the fray.

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“Do we need a left-hander? Are we looking at Tilak Varma or is Suryakumar that option as he plays all the sweeps available in the game, makes it difficult for the spinners and is also a very good player of spin,” Karthik said before adding, “So who is the back-up batting. That’s the next question.”

India will play all their games in the Asia Cup, which starts on August 30, in Sri Lanka after refusing to travel to Pakistan due to political tensions between the two countries.

Pakistan will host four matches, including one in the Super 4, while nine matches will be played in Sri Lanka, including the final on September 17.

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First published on: 21-08-2023 at 18:49 IST

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