Tilak Varma attained IPL stardom one season before Rinku Singh but the Hyderabad youngster wants to learn the art of finishing close T20 games from his national teammate, who is showing glimpses of his immense potential at the international level. Rinku, the KKR left-hander, hailing from UP’s Aligarh, has made a name for himself at the franchise level for finishing games and is showing the same temperament at the international level.
Although his winning hit for a six was not counted due to the no-ball bowled by Nathan Ellis in the first T20 International where India beat Australia by two wickets, Rinku’s composure while batting in the death overs has found appreciation from everyone.
“I am learning how to finish games from Rinku as he is doing it consistently for India. I also want to do and hopefully in coming matches I will be doing that,” Tilak said ahead of India’s second T20 International in the five-match series.
Tilak, who is also a southpaw like Rinku, has already made an impression in the 11 T20Is he has played for the country, with two half-centuries and a strike-rate of 140-plus to his credit.
“There is no pressure of expectation on me. I just have a role and I have to fulfil that role for the team. My role at No. 5 is, if it’s in my arc, I will go for it or else just rotate strike,” said Tilak.
He then explained what he was asked to do in the last game.
“Last match, in that situation a leg-spinner was bowling, I wanted to take charge as we needed 10 per over in that situation, so it was decided I will go at the leg-spinner and for fast bowler, settled batsman Surya bhai was batting,” he said.
While his main aim is to remain consistent, Tilak also said that he hasn’t worked on any specific areas during the time the senior team was busy playing the ODI World Cup.
“Before this series, I played in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy and my performance was good and I was confident, so I haven’t worked in any specific areas but aim is to continue the good form,” said Tilak, who was his team’s top run-getter with 288 runs at a healthy strike-rate of 143, which also included a hundred and a fifty.
There is a certain amount of comfort level that Tilak enjoys while playing under Suryakumar Yadav and he enjoyed his skipper’s performance (80 off 42 balls) in the opening ODI.
“I have already played under Suryakumar Yadav. In IPL, he captained one match for Mumbai Indians. He is very calm and clear in his thoughts, he did very good captaincy and in the last match, played in tough situation, he managed well,” Tilak further added.
There is a leadership streak in Tilak and he doesn’t mind slipping in a suggestion or two for senior captains like Rohit Sharma or Surya.
“All 11 members need to be involved, every player gets thoughts and passes it on and it rests on the captain, which suggestions he wants to take.” Asked how the team is looking at Sunday’s second T20I, and also if it’s payback time for the Aussies for defeating India in the World Cup final, Tilak answered in the negative.
“We just want to go with the flow and take it one game at a time,” he concluded.