Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag

Tilak Varma, the rising star of Mumbai Indians, made his IPL debut in 2022 and showcased his batting prowess. In his debut season, he accumulated an impressive total of 397 runs in 14 matches, averaging 36.09 with a strike rate of 131.02. Continuing his upward trajectory, Varma elevated his performance in IPL 2023, amassing 343 runs in just 11 matches, averaging a remarkable 42.88 with an astounding strike rate of 164.11. During the intense Qualifier 2 against Gujarat Titans at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, Varma played a pivotal role in Mumbai Indians’ pursuit of a massive target of 234 runs. He blazed through with 43 runs off 13 balls, showcasing his explosive style, before falling victim to Rashid Khan’s dismissal, which momentarily put the Titans in a favorable position.

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag expressed his admiration for Varma’s performance and offered him valuable advice on further honing his skills. Sehwag drew from his own experiences, recalling his international debut in 1999 and the lessons he learned to improve his game.

“In my opinion, Tilak Varma should concentrate on two key aspects: enhancing his fitness levels and identifying specific skills and mindsets he can work on. Often, when players are actively participating in matches, they naturally adapt and evolve over time. However, during periods when one is not engaged in active cricket, it becomes crucial to prioritize fitness and skill development. Just like Suryakumar Yadav, who dedicated substantial practice towards refining his shot selection,” shared Sehwag in his conversation with Cricbuzz.

Sehwag further emphasized the importance of addressing weaknesses in Varma’s game, drawing a parallel to his own experience. He reflected on his initial encounter with Shoaib Akhtar in 1999, where he was dismissed early due to a vulnerability against fast bowling.

“Varma should focus on identifying his weaknesses, much like my experience. When I first faced Shoaib Akhtar, the ball hit my pad before I could bring my bat down. Sourav Ganguly (Dada) advised me to return and practice extensively against fast bowlers to better prepare myself. As I predominantly batted in the middle-order and faced spinners initially, I had already scored a century by the time fast bowlers were introduced. Similarly, Varma should critically evaluate his weaknesses and work diligently on overcoming them,” Sehwag concluded.