The Hindu (Mumbai)

I want to play freely & consistent­ly: Tilak Varma

- V.V. Subrahmany­am

Tilak has been in smashing for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy.

Tilak Varma, the star performer for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group, is dreaming to play for India in the T20 World Cup later this year and helping the team win it too.

In an exclusive chat with The Hindu after his century against Nagaland in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group semifinal here on Friday, the 21yearold Tilak Varma said he never chased any personal milestones like scoring hundreds but always felt he should contribute to the team’s success in any format.

“Yes, the journey has been good so far, preparing

for each and every contest, with the specific goal of coming up with matchwinni­ng performanc­es,” he said.

Another opportunit­y

The southpaw, who played for India in four ODIs and 16 T20Is, feels that the IPL scheduled ahead of the T20 World Cup could be another opportunit­y to do well.

“I have been doing what my franchise Mumbai Indians has been looking for from me.

“Focusing on the team’s needs and trying to be consistent. Whatever role I am assigned I am ready for the challenge,” Tilak said.

“With Rohit Sharma bhai being such a successful captain and also my childhood idol, I have been in such a comfort zone and I am lucky to have played under

him,” he explained.

“Frankly, there were no real big changes in my game after joining Mumbai Indians.

“A little bit of maturity, a different mindset playing with seniors and also interactin­g with other big players from different franchisee­s helped me a lot,” Tilak said.

“I want to play freely and consistent­ly every time I am given the opportunit­y,” Tilak said.

“Yes, life has changed a lot after playing for India. I am glad all the sacrifices of my parents, my coach Salam sir (Salam Bayash) have finally produced the results.

“A lot of credit goes to Salam sir for he has been with me since childhood, 365 days a year. And he will be with me till the end of my career,” a grateful Tilak said.


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