Tilak Varma’s promising start to his international career has opened debates about his ICC World Cup 2023 selection. Tilak Varma made his T20I debut against West Indies, scoring 39, 51, and 49* in the first three games. He has shown good maturity with the bat in pressure situations. Although he is yet to make his ODI debut, a few cricket experts feel he could prove to be a surprise element for the Men in Blue in the World Cup later this year. Former Indian Cricketer Aakash Chopra feels Tilak Varma is an enticing option as a middle-order batter for India’s ODI World Cup squad and that he could prove to be an X-factor in the tournament.
“Tilak Varma could be that X-factor. He is such a tempting option because you get a left-hander in the middle order and a little bit of off-spin. So he might be the wild card entry for the team India at the World Cup,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra reckons Tilak Varma and Surya Kumar Yadav might be competing for a middle-order berth in India’s World Cup squad. He observed there is one place vacant as of now. Either Tilak Varma or Suryakumar Yadav might become a part of India’s 15.
Tilak– A Valuable All-Rounder on Indian Pitches:
Among all Tilak’s brings as a pure limited-overs middle-order batter, his being a left-hander is among the most tempting. While not a necessity, having a left-hander in the middle order who is good against spin prevents the opposition from running through and choking the middle overs. As the World Cup is scheduled in India, spin is expected to play a major role by design, and a left-hander in the middle order will be a circuit-breaker.
Tilak not only provides that, but he has also shown that he is extremely comfortable against spin. From 28 T20 games – including IPL and T20Is – he averages 66.8 and strikes at 142 against spin. The numbers may be from a different format. Still, they indicate his quality against spin bowling, something India will desperately need through the middle overs in the World Cup.
Tilak also provides an added dimension with his off-spin bowling. India has struggled to find batters who can bowl since Kedar Jadhav. They do not have an off-spinner in their World Cup plans either. Tilak fits nicely into that box and can provide a crucial matchup against left-handers through the middle overs.
Tilak’s impressive List A record should also help his case for a berth in India’s World Cup squad. The Hyderabad batter has amassed 1236 runs in 25 innings at an average of 56.18 and a strike rate of 101.64. The Rohit Sharma-led side will begin their World Cup campaign on Sunday, 8 October, against Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.