Friday, June 21, 2024

Spells of Markram and Shamsi tilted the game in South Africa’s favour, says Tilak Varma

India’s left-handed batter Tilak Varma said spells of South Africa spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and captain Aiden Markram played a decisive role in tilting the second T20I in their favour, adding that if not for the duo, the visitors’ could have got 200 or above.

Markram took 1-29 while Shamsi returned with economical figures of 1-18 in South Africa’s five-wicket win in Gqeberha. “I feel the wicket was a bit on the slower side when we batted, especially with the new ball it was slightly seaming.”

“After that, it was gripping a bit and spinning a bit when Markram and Shamsi were bowling. So the spell that Markram and Shamsi bowled went their way. I think it was a good spell from them. Otherwise, we could have reached 200 or 200-plus,” said Varma in the post-match press conference.

He also felt India gave too many runs in the power-play, when South Africa were having a truncated chase of 152 in 15 overs, while noting that rain and wet outfield also added to India finding it tough to bowl.

“I think in the powerplay, we gave a bit (of) extra runs, but after that we came back strongly. But due to the wet outfield, the ball was not gripping as we thought. But actually we batted well. We’re doing pretty well so we’ll stick to our basics. We will have to plan better with regards to our bowling.”

“It’s always good to play in South Africa; it’s quite challenging. We are well-prepared for these conditions, and we have actually batted well in a tough situation. The openers didn’t do too well, but after that Surya, myself and Rinku got good rhythm in the batting side and we scored well. But due to the rain and wet outfield, it went their way,” added Varma, who made a 20-ball 29 in India’s total of 180/7.

Asked about the chat in the drinks break during the chase, Varma said the talk was all about sticking to their plans. “If you see, in the last series against Australia (at home) also, even in wet (dew) conditions, we defended well. So we played in it recently and that (wet outfield) is nothing new for us. That’s what Surya bhai and Rahul sir were talking about (during the drinks break).”

“They were saying we have done it recently and we can do it now as well. Keep believing, stick to basics and give your hundred percent on the field and whatever happens, if you give hundred per cent, then it’s okay. We will continue to stick to the plan and get our basics right.”

2023 has been a year where Varma debuted for India in T20Is, on the tour of West Indies in August. With 14 appearances of playing T20Is in West Indies, Ireland, China (Asian Games), India and now South Africa, Varma thinks the exposure to varied conditions have given him great lessons.

“For every series, I was preparing for the conditions. If you see, West Indies was a bit on the slower side, and if you see Ireland, (the pitches) were similar to South Africa wickets, it was a bit bouncy and seaming a bit.”

“We were preparing according to that (conditions) and also doing that in India. So, it has been a great experience and great learning going through, so I am just looking forward to that.”

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