Tilak Varma played his first match for India in the first T20I against West Indies. The young left-handed batter received his first-ever cap from the Indian captain, Hardik Pandya.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted a video showing Pandya giving Varma his first cap. The leader of the Indian team also had a special message for the newcomer.
Hardik Pandya gives a message to Tilak Varma
“This is what dreams are made of. Mehnat karke yahan pe aaya hai (You’ve worked hard to reach here), kuch alag nahi karna hai (don’t do anything different), yahi same cheez yahan karega (repeat the same thing), life me aur aage jayega (you’ll go ahead in life). Good luck! Be proud of yourself,” Pandya said.
💬 "Be proud of yourself."
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 3, 2023
Tilak Varma’s first appearance in a match follows his impressive showings in the Indian Premier League. The 20-year-old batter scored a total of 740 runs in 25 matches with a strike rate of 144.53. This included achieving three half-century scores across the previous two seasons.
In total, the batter from Hyderabad has made 1418 runs in 47 T20 matches, achieving 10 half-century scores. Varma’s recent participation was with the South Zone team in the Duleep Trophy, where he scored 114 runs across two matches. His team emerged victorious against West Zone, securing the trophy. Apart from the five T20 matches against West Indies, Varma has also been chosen to be a part of India’s team for the upcoming three T20 matches against Ireland and the 19th Asian Games.
In addition to Tilak Varma, Mukesh Kumar, who performed well in the Test and One Day International (ODI) matches, also played his first T20 International (T20I) match.
The 29-year-old Mukesh Kumar took four wickets in three ODIs and managed to take two wickets in the second Test against West Indies. In T20 matches, he has taken a total of 32 wickets in 33 games, maintaining an economy rate of 8.11.