India had a disastrous beginning to their chase of 266 against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium, losing two quick wickets as the ball swung unpredictably under the floodlights. Captain Rohit Sharma’s downfall was self-inflicted, as he played a loose shot on only the second ball of the innings.
However, it was the next wicket, involving two ODI debutants, Tilak Varma and Tanzim Hasan Sakib, that caught the attention of the cricketing world. With India already securing their spot in the final and Bangladesh out of contention, this match provided an opportunity for the two 20-year-olds to showcase their skills in a less critical situation.
Tilak, tasked with the challenging role of filling Virat Kohli’s shoes at number three, made the first move by elegantly guiding the ball to the boundary off his hips in the third over. The right-arm fast bowler responded by delivering the next ball just back of a length on the off-stump to the left-handed Tilak, coming over the wicket.
With the ball angling away, Tilak chose to let it pass through to the wicket-keeper, but little did he know that his fate had already been sealed by his opponent. Sakib duplicated the previous ball’s trajectory, causing Tilak to respond in the same manner.
However, this time, the Kookaburra ball moved remarkably off the seam, straightening and crashing into the batter’s stumps. Tilak, in disbelief, looked around in pure shock before slowly making his way back to the pavilion with just 5 runs to his name.
This is what happens when you pick a player based on 2 t20 perfomance and drop a player who scored 39 ball 50 in his last innings. MI lobby politics of dropping Sanju Samson badly exposed.— Brutu ആമി ❤️ (@KattaVillain) September 16, 2023
Tilak Varma, baby Sitter >> Odi Player #BringBackSanjuSamson pic.twitter.com/kbpZ3izh3X
It was a disappointing debut for him, as he had also dropped a simple catch in the first innings and failed to pick up a wicket during his four overs of part-time off-spin. On the other hand, Tanzim Hasan Sakib received accolades from all corners of Twitter for his impressive start to his international cricket career.