Former India batsman Robin Uthappa has backed the selection of young sensation Tilak Verma in the team for the upcoming ODI World Cup at home. Tilak Verma took to international cricket like a duck to water, scoring 173 runs in the five-match T20I series at an average of 57.66 and a strike rate of 140.65. Despite the shocking 2-3 defeat, he was the shining light in the dark tunnel for the team as he pulled the team out of dire situations on several occasions
With middle-order problems for India due to injuries to KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Shreyas Iyer as well as Suryakumar Yadav’s struggles in ODIs, Tilak could be a surprise 11th-hour selection for the World Cup squad. Speaking to JioCinema at the end of the West Indies tour, Robin Uthappa felt that the Indian selectors might discuss Tilak Verma’s inclusion in the ODI team.
Robin Uthappa Said:
“Yeah. Certainly, he will be discussed by the selectors as well, because you want to look at someone who can serve the team for a long time. He seems like he’s got a pretty good head on his shoulders, and he goes about his business in a very diligent way,”
Former India batsman also praised Tilak Verma’s ability to take charge of the team in a crisis and play with tremendous composure. He said:
“We know that he’s someone who can be responsible. And even today, the kind of partnership he stitched up after the first two wickets fell, you saw him taking on responsibility, which is quite nice,”
Tilak Verma had a stellar IPL season, scoring 343 runs in 11 matches at an average of 42.88 and a strike rate of 164.11. He then had an impressive first season, scoring 397 runs in 14 matches at an average of 36.10. Overall, the Hyderabad-born cricketer has been sensational in T20 and List A cricket with averages of 37.70 and 56.18 respectively.
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Robin Uthappa said that Tilak Verma’s ability to provide a part-time spin bowling option and the fact that he is a left-hander further adds to his selection in the Indian ODI team.
The 20-year-old took the crucial wicket of Nicholas Pooran in just the second ball of his international career, leaving India with a slim chance of pulling off a miraculous victory in the final T20I. Tilak also almost dismissed the other star batsman of the day, Brandon King, but dropped the return catch.
“Then when you get the ball, like, you know, I’ll try and go for it. Try and get a wicket. He got a wicket. He almost got two; he would’ve, had he taken that catch, the return catch. In that sense, the stuff is there. And the fact that he’s a left-hander,”
Tilak Verma adds a left-arm option, something the team has been desperately searching for in the middle order. Apart from his batting prowess, the part-time off-spinner has taken 14 wickets across all formats in his professional career, including four in List A.