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Tilak Varma of India takes the aerial route during the first T20I match against West Indies at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, on August 3. Image Credit: AFP

Guyana: After scoring his maiden T20 half-century, Tilak Varma attributed his success to the guidance and influence of Rohit Sharma and the valuable experience he gained from playing in the IPL.

Tilak, who was India’s leading scorer with 39 off 22 deliveries in the first T20I in Trinidad, came up with another gem of innings in the second match on Sunday as he scored 51 off 41 deliveries, studded with five fours and a six.

“I spend more time with Rohit bhai. In my first IPL, he had told me that Tilak you are an all format cricketer. It boosted my confidence. His guidance has been massive for me. Rohit bhai has been a big support system to me. He always talks to me and tells me to enjoy the game.

“For me the turning point has been the IPL. The performance has helped me to play for India. Going forward I would like to continue it,” Tilak told r

Close bond

Tilak also dedicated his celebration after reaching his maiden T20I fifty to Rohit’s daughter, Samaira. He expressed his close bond with little Samaira and shared how he had promised her that he would dedicate his celebration to her whenever he achieves a maiden century or a fifty.

“It was towards Sammy (Samaira), Rohit bhai’s daughter. I am very close to Sammy. I had promised her that whenever I will score a century or a fifty, I will do a celebration for her.

The 20-year-old also opened up on his discussions with Team India coach Rahul Dravid, who was his coach even in Under-19 cricket and said he has spent a significant amount of time discussing the game with him, even after practice sessions during the Caribbean tour.

“I’ve been with Rahul sir since the Under-19 World Cup. He always tells me to follow my basics and spend as much time at the wicket. He always tells me to enjoy my game. Hardik bhai was also telling me the same thing. He told me you’ve done well in the IPL and domestic, so just enjoy your game,” he said.

Funny game

Having won the toss, India batted first and posted 152/7, thanks to a maiden T20I half-century from Tilak.

In response, Nicholas Pooran smashed 67 from just 40 deliveries as the West Indies successfully chased down a modest total with seven balls remaining to give the Caribbean side a 2-0 advantage in the five-match series.

Tilak heaped praise on Pooran’s effort and said: “The wicket was on the slower side and two-paced. We thought 150-160 would’ve been a good score. Maybe we fell 10 runs short, but it was a good performance by our batters.

“Of course, credit to Pooran because he has batted really well. He put the pressure on the bowlers. We knew that if we could get one wicket, we could save the game because the wicket was on the slower side and it wasn’t that easy to bat. It was a bowler’s wicket. Unfortunately, it’s such a funny game, it can turn around and we could’ve made a comeback.

Trailing 0-2 in the series, India will look to bounce back in the series as the third T20 is scheduled on Monday here at Providence Stadium.