As India faced their second consecutive defeat in the ongoing T20I series against the West Indies, middle-order batter Tilak Varma stood tall amidst the challenging situation, admitting that the team fell short by around 10 runs with the bat. The gripping encounter saw the hosts chase down a 153-run target with two wickets in hand and seven balls to spare at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Sunday.
India falter despite Tilak’s maiden fifty
Winning the toss and opting to bat, India found themselves in a tough spot at 18 for 2 in the fourth over, but it was Tilak Varma’s maiden half-century in international cricket that revived the innings. The southpaw’s composed 41-ball 51, accompanied by valuable contributions from Shubman Gill (27 off 23) and Hardik Pandya (24 off 18), led India to a competitive total of 152 for 7 on a challenging pitch.
While the score seemed defendable, West Indies showcased their determination in the run chase, led by the impressive innings of Nicholas Pooran, who played a blistering 67 off 40 balls. Despite Hardik Pandya’s impressive triple strike and Yuzvendra Chahal’s brace keeping India in contention, the West Indies held their nerve to secure a thrilling victory.
Tilak praises Nicholas Pooran
Tilak Varma praised Pooran’s exceptional effort, acknowledging that his aggressive batting had put immense pressure on the Indian bowlers. He stated, “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). Of course, credit to Pooran because he has batted really well. He put the pressure on the bowlers.”
Despite the disappointments, Tilak remained optimistic about the team’s potential to make a comeback, acknowledging the unpredictability of cricket. He expressed, “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.”
Tilak reflects on his Cricketing journey
Tilak also praised the West Indian bowlers for their commendable performance, utilizing the pitch conditions and variations to their advantage. The bowlers, including Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, and Akeal Hosein, bagged crucial wickets and maintained economical spells, restricting India’s momentum.
Reflecting on his journey on the international stage, Tilak credited his mentor Rahul Dravid, who has been his coach since the Under-19 World Cup. He highlighted Dravid’s guidance, encouraging him to follow his basics, enjoy the game, and spend ample time at the crease. The young batter also appreciated the support and advice he received from Hardik Pandya, emphasizing the importance of cherishing his game.