'Sachin said I know everything about you': Tendulkar's unforgettable words to Tilak Varma
A youthful Indian team lead by Hardik Pandya has been struck a double blow by West Indies in the shorter format after achieving comprehensive series victories in Test and ODI matches.
In both cases, the Men in Blue's batsmen fell short, something that skipper Pandya also mentioned at the post-match awards ceremony following the second T20I, which India lost by two wickets.
Despite the setbacks, Tilak Varma's entry into the world scene has been the biggest plus. The southpaw made an excellent first impression, hitting two sixes off the first three balls of his India debut. Then, in the second T20I in Guyana, he put up an even stronger performance, scoring his first half-century and leading India to a solid 152/7 in 20 overs.
Salam Bayash, Varma's childhood coach, expressed his shock at what he had witnessed thus far in an interview with News 18: "Bohot bada cricket khelne wala bacha hai ye. This youngster is a big player; he won't stop playing after a few knocks, says Thoda bohot khel k khamosh hone wala nahi hai.
According to the article, Bayash was the first to recognise Varma's skill at a young age and persuaded him to contact his father. However, because of the financial concerns, the father was originally hesitant to allow his son to pursue a career in cricket.
"In 2011–12, Tilak and his pals were playing tennis ball cricket at the Barkas Ground. When he was playing, he appeared quite solid, and I assumed he was attending an academy. I phoned him to find out if he attends any academies. He said that he only plays with his pals in his negative response.
After that, I spoke with his father and requested that he provide Tilak the right training. Due to financial concerns, his father originally wasn't much in favour of this. They resided just 2 kilometres from the location, although my academy was 40 kilometres away, so I assured them that I would be in charge of arranging for his transportation, Bayash recounted.
When talking about the behind-the-scenes effort, Bayash stated that his ward will be at the academy from "morning 6 to evening 6." Due to the lengthy commute, Varma's coach also requested that his parents locate new housing close to the academy.
'Sachin sir likes him very much'
Varma was promoted to the national team following a brilliant performance in the T20 tournament. Varma plays for the Mumbai Indians franchise in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
Varma, who cost 1.7 crore, scored numerous important runs in the previous edition, including an undefeated 84 off 46 balls for MI in the season opener and a 17-ball 37 for Sunrisers Hyderabad that had a 217 strike rate.
Coach Bayash also related a story about how his young student facilitated his meeting with batting icon Sachin Tendulkar in Hyderabad. Like other people, Bayash is a tremendous admirer of Tendulkar, who at the time thanked him for supporting a talented individual like Varma.
"Sachin Sir really likes him. I'll give you another example. He was informed by Tilak that my teacher is a huge admirer of yours. I am well aware of both you and your coach, Sachin Sir said in response. I got to meet Sachin sir when he visited Hyderabad last year, and it was a huge, huge experience for me.
20 years se apse milne ki khawaish thi, I informed him. Meri khawaish puri kar di upar wale ne. I had a hug after that, and he advised me to keep preparing Tilak, who is a really excellent player. "Main jitna khush tha Use zyada Tilak khush tha ki maine usko Sachin Sir se milwa diya, added Bayash.