Tilak Varma’s continued excellence early in his international career took India to their first win in the T20I series against West Indies.
The Mumbai left-hander played a sublime 37-ball 49 knock to drag India back from a losing streak in the format. However, he was left stranded one run short of a well-deserved half-century, when captain Hardik Pandya struck the winning runs.
Harsha Bhogle weighed in on this topic from a different angle to the popular opinion on the internet, in a tweet.
I am puzzled by the discussion around Tilak Varma missing out on a 50. It isn't a landmark, in fact other than a century (which is rare), there are no landmarks in T20 cricket. We are far too obsessed with individual achievement within a team sport. I don't believe 50s should be…— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 10, 2023
What did Harsha Bhogle say about Tilak Varma and the situation?
The ever smiling commentator believes that much emphasis is put on seemingly insignificant milestones, as he pointed out that cricket by nature is a team sport and Individual achievements shouldn’t be obsessed over so much. He believes that apart from the rare case of a batsman scoring a century there are no landmarks in T20 cricket.
He went on to say that 50s shouldn’t be recorded in personal statistics in T20 cricket, as he believes that scoring consistent runs at a high strike rate is the more important metric. South Africa legend and one of the game’s greatest ever batters AB de Villiers voiced his support in the comment section of Harsha’s tweet.
Harsha Bhogle weighed in on Tilak Varma missing out a half century by 1 runs, which seems to be the talk of the town. India needed just 2 runs off 14 balls and captain Hardik, batting on 14, was on strike. Everybody expected Hardik to turn the strike over to the youngster Tilak, who was batting on 49, so that he can hit the winning runs and get to his milestone as well.
In an unexpected turn of events, Hardik hit the slower ball from his counterpart Rovman Powell for a six and finished the game. It was a wonderful shot but left everyone baffled as this meant Tilak Varma, who played beautifully throughout the series, was stranded on 49, one run short of what would have been a well-deserved half-century.
Many fans have been left furious by Hardik's exploits and especially the message it sends to the young teammate, coming from the captain. Many have drawn comparison to when Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the India captain at that time, famously blocked out a delivery so that Virat Kohli could hit the winning runs against Australia after his fabulous knock.
India fightback to keep the series alive
Amidst all the chaos this incident brought, India have roared back in the 5 match T20I series, winning the third match in Guyana comfortably to make it 2-1. Losing the toss and fielding first, India restricted the West Indies top-order from getting to a flier. However captain Powell came out all guns blazing, playing a blistering knock of 40 off 19 balls which consisted of 3 sixes and a boundary. Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowlers as he uprooted the ominous looking Nicholas Pooran and well set Brandon king, finishing with figures of 3 for 28.
In reply, debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal went in the first over, but Suryakumar walked out with intent, hitting the first two balls for four and six respectively. In his unique manner of unorthodox hitting, the world number one smashed a 44 ball 83 with 10 fours and 4 sixes. Surya decided yet another T20I game for India, and perhaps reinstated his claim for a world cup spot.
SKY was well supported by his fellow MI teammate Tilak Varma, who is having a dream start to his International career, playing his 3rd telling knock in as many games. He put on a game deciding 87 runs partnership with SKY, playing a great supporting role to India’s marauding no.3. When SKY got out, he didn’t let any nerves settle, calmly steering India to a 7 wicket win with captain Hardik Pandya, who hit the winning runs. A half century would have been a nice feather in the cap, but missing out by one run doesn’t make the innings any less impressive.
Tilak will have his eyes on bigger and better things as India look to level the series in the 4th T20I in Florida. Who knows maybe he will get to a more impressive milestone there, and based on the rate the young man is going, you certainly can’t bet against him.