The former Indian all-rounder Abhishek Nayar talked about how the 20-year-old Tilak Varma could be India’s trump card or x-factor in the ODI World Cup 2023 at home, during an interview with JioCinema. The 39-year-old, who had a fantastic career in the Ranji Trophy with Mumbai, was pleasantly surprised to see the call-up for the youngster in the Indian cricket team for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, scheduled to be played from August 30 onwards.
Notably, Tilak Varma had a fantastic start to his international career against the West Indies in the T20I format earlier this month. He put together an emphatic run in his debut series, away in the Americas, scoring 173 runs in five matches at an average of 57.66 and a strike-rate of 140.65.
During his appearance on JioCinema, Abhishek Nayar shared his happiness about Tilak Varma getting picked for Asia Cup 2023, while stating that he is a player for the future. He was quoted as saying, as per NDTV Sports, “I am pleasantly surprised to see Tilak in the squad. During the West Indies series we had a lot of discussions about who are the middle-order options for India. Tilak Varma can bowl also and he is a player for the future who has done well in the IPL also. Yes, it is a big call. Normally close to a World Cup you don't want to take a lot of chances.”
“But the Asia Cup is the perfect platform to test someone like Tilak Varma and see what he is made of. When you have someone who has shown you a pattern in terms of performing under pressure, I don't see that's a bad thing,” he added.
Abhishek Nayar also talked about the ceiling for Tilak Varma as a batter and said, “I think going forward he is someone who can fulfil the role that a Yuvraj and Raina played for India with both bat and ball. I think India should try him in big matches at the Asia Cup because if he does well, he could be India's trump card or x-factor in the World Cup, whom no one has seen before.”
Kris Srikkanth opines that Tilak Varma shouldn’t be in ODI World Cup squad for India
Kris Srikkanth, the 1983 ODI World Cup winner for India, spoke on his YouTube channel about the rise of Tilak Varma in the national team, but still, he pointed out that the 20-year-old shouldn't be in the Indian squad for the upcoming edition of the cricketing spectacle. He said, “Tilak Varma, the point that I'm making was also conveyed by Ganguly. Don't give him a debut in a big tournament. First, let him play a few ODI series. Ganguly also had the same point of view.”
“Tilak Varma has fantastic potential. Tilak Varma is a brilliant player. But don't let him be in the playing lineup for the World Cup. Let him play in a few ODI series and then the upcoming T20 World Cup and groom him till the next ODI World Cup. There is something called grooming a youngster,” Kris Srikkanth further added.