The South Africa legend had a rather blunt take on the whole incident during the 3rd India vs West Indies T20I.
A mild social media controversy erupted after India‘s third T20I win over West Indies on Tuesday, which involved Indian captain Hardik Pandya and Tilak Varma. Tilak, batting on 49, was at the non-striker’s end when India required only 2 runs to win from 14 deliveries to win the game; Hardik, facing Rovman Powell, smashed a six off the penultimate delivery of the over to win the game, thus angeering fans on social media. Many users argued that the Indian skipper could’ve let Tilak reach his half-century.
The 20-year-old left-hander has been the most consistent batter for India in the series so far; what makes his performances more worthwhile is the fact that he made his debut in the series. Tilak was India’s top-scorer in the 1st and 2nd T20Is, scoring 39 and 51 respectively. In the third game, he had no qualms in playing second-fiddle to an on-song Suryakumar Yadav as India required a partnership to rebuild the innings after early blows.
In fact, as India’s run-chase was drawing to a close, Hardik was heard on stump-mic telling Tilak to stay till the end, and many on the internet believed it made Indian captain’s six all the more bizarre. In fact, former India opener Aakash Chopra also insisted during a YouTube video that the skipper could’ve let Tilak reach the milestone mark, as there were no Net Run Rate (NRR) calculations in play.
Amid the debate, former South African captain AB de Villiers made his thoughts rather clear as he replied to a tweet on the same by broadcaster Harsha Bhogle. The tweet read, “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 recorded in individual stats in T20 cricket. If you have made enough runs quickly enough (avg and SR), that is all that matters.”
To this, de Villiers simply replied, “Thank you thank you thank you. Finally someone says it!”
There were no official remarks made by either Hardik or Tilak, or anyone from the team management on the same. Regardless, Tilak Varma has shown that he is here to stay with solid performances in the T20Is, and many hope the young batter would soon kick the doors for entry into the fifty-over setup as well.