This Australian Legend backs Tilak Varma, Gill to fire, terms Chahal’s omission from Asia Cup ‘big’
Former Australia batter Matthew Hayden pushed young players Shubman Gill and Tilak Varma to make the most of their chance after being picked to India's squad for the Asia Cup on Monday.
After scoring 890 runs in the IPL 2023, Gill struggled during the West Indies tour, scoring only two fifties in ten matches across three formats.
Varma, on the other hand, astonished everyone with strong performances in the Caribbean T20I series, resulting in his first call-up to the India ODI squad.
"(It is) this extreme talent, particularly in batting, that brings India to life." Gill has yet to play much one-day cricket for his country. Tilak Varma has never played one-day cricket for his country. But that doesn't mean they can't provide.
"And we've seen this in the IPL." We've seen names you'd never heard of before come to the IPL, not an international platform but certainly an international event, and light it up. So I'm very optimistic that Indian cricket is in good hands," Hayden told the reporters on the sidelines of the CEAT Cricket Rating Award here.
To emphasise his point, Hayden cited the powerful character of India's middle-order.
"When you look at India's middle-order, you look at Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma… those three or four players," Rohit Sharma said. 'You can look at anyone at those figures, but ultimately, it's not one of them that wins you the World Cup," Hayden remarked.
Hayden, on the other hand, called the absence of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal from the Asia Cup a "major omission."
"There are some significant omissions. Chahal, in particular, is a terrific player, and (it) must be difficult for the selectors because they also have another one in Kuldeep (Yadav)… he's a superb player. "As a result, they've chosen that as an option," Hayden explained.
In addition, Hayden speculated that Varma's inclusion could be motivated by other major occurrences.
"There will always be some players in the run-up to World Cups, and we've seen Tilak Varma's class." "I think it's a good strategy not only for this World Cup, but also potentially for the next World Cup (T20 World Cup 2024)," he said.
The presence of Varma in the squad, according to Hayden, will put pressure on Suryakumar Yadav, who has struggled to audition for the No 4 place in ODIs.
"The great thing about Team India is that, like Australia, it has a really solid 1-2-3 combination." "They've had a really strong engine room over the last four or five months," he remarked.
"They have some interesting problems to solve in the middle order." If they can fill positions with brilliant young players like Tilak Varma, it can put pressure on someone like Suryakumar Yadav — I believe that's a smart tactic; keep everyone honest and performing, so not a bad move," Hayden remarked.
When asked if India head coach Rahul Dravid takes a conservative approach, Hayden stated that coaches do not win tournaments, but players do. He used the term 'Bazball' as an example.
"Just as Rahul (Dravid) is important for your Tilak Varmas, he is most likely important for your Suryakumar Yadavs." In Baz (Brendon) McCullum, we'll have another great name here…where it's not only innovation that wins World Cups or championships.
"I mean, as much as people were talking about Bazball, it was still in England, it was a drawn series (Ashes 2023)," Hayden explained.
Hayden also dismissed concerns over Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's ODI form.
"I've seen a different Virat Kohli since his century against Australia in Ahmedabad." I haven't seen many of his recent performances in the West Indies.
"However, big players want big tournaments, and both of those names are set for a big World Cup." According to that, I believe they will both play. "I wouldn't be too concerned," he remarked.