After India’s third T20I victory over West Indies on Tuesday, a little social media squabble involving Tilak Varma and Indian skipper Hardik Pandya broke out. When India needed only 2 runs to win the game from 14 deliveries with Tilak batting on 49, he was at the non-striker’s end. Hardik, facing Rovman Powell, hit a six off the penultimate delivery of the over to secure the victory, angering fans on social media. The Indian captain might have allowed Tilak to achieve his half-century, according to many users.
The 20-year-old left-hander has been India’s most reliable batter thus far in the series, and the fact that he made his series debut adds even more significance to his accomplishments. Tilak scored 39 and 51 points, respectively, to lead India in scoring in the first and second T20Is. In the third game, India needed a partnership to rebuild the innings following early blows, thus he had little problem taking second place to an on-song Suryakumar Yadav.
In fact, as India’s run chase came to an end, Hardik could be heard on the stump microphone encouraging Tilak to stick around. Many people on the internet thought this made the Indian captain’s six even stranger. Aakash Chopra, a former India opener, asserted in a YouTube video that the captain should have allowed Tilak to reach the milestone because there were no Net Run Rate (NRR) calculations in effect.
In the midst of the discussion, former South African captain AB de Villiers made his opinions known by responding to a tweet from broadcaster Harsha Bhogle. I am perplexed by the talk surrounding Tilak Varma losing out on a 50, the tweet said. In truth, there are no benchmarks in T20 cricket other than a century, which is uncommon. We are far too fixated on individual success in team sports. In T20 cricket, I don’t think 50s should be included in individual stats. All that matters is whether you have made enough runs rapidly enough (avg and SR).
No one from the team management, including Hardik, Tilak, or anyone else, made any public statements regarding this. With his strong T20I achievements, Tilak Varma has however demonstrated that he is here to stay, and many people are hopeful that the young batsman will soon open doors for admission into the fifty-over setup as well.
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