Hyderabad: Hyderabad batsman Thakur Thilak Varma has been selected to represent India in the World Cup under-19 cricket tournament to be held in South Africa in January next year. The left-hander has been rewarded for his phenomenal consistency with the willow. “I am happy that I will play in the World Cup. I would like to continue my form in South Africa. It will be a big challenge, but I’m confident of good scores in the tournament. I dedicate my selection to my coach (Salam Bayash) and parents (Gayatri Devi and Nagaraju). They sacrificed a lot for me,” said the 18-year-old.
A product of Salam Bayash Legala Cricket Academy, Thilak Varma is already being touted as the next big thing from Hyderabad. Cricketer Ambati Rayudu said the young batsman reminds him of Yuvraj Singh. “He whacks the ball with enormous power like Yuvraj. He is a good timer of the ball and has the potential to play for the country,” said Rayudu.
Starting of at 11, Thilak who was introduced to Salam by his uncle B N N Raju, got noticed in the South Zone under-14 tournament, after scoring over 450 runs from four matches, including two centuries and two 50s. “He is hard working and hungry to succeed. He would bat for hours at the nets to perfect his technique. He is a good learner of the game,” said Bayash.
Varma continued his run streak in the under-16 category too. He amassed 969 runs (five centuries and one double hundred) to become the top run-getter in 2013-14 and was awarded with BCCI’s best cricketer in under-16 category.
The lad was unstoppable in the under-19 tournament last year. He slammed five centuries and three 50s before he was selected for Asia Cup in Sri Lanka where he played a big role in India’s triumph. He struck a 119-ball 110 against Pakistan.
Former international Noel David, chairman of the Hyderabad junior selection committee, said Thilak has a bright future. “He’s a fearless batsman and has a steady head. He is a player for big occasions,” said Noel.
For Varma, it is all about working hard for the big event. “My experience in England will be of help. The ball will swing and I’m mentally preparing for the hard and bouncy wickets of South Africa,” he said.