Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody on Monday hailed young Tilak Varma's call-up to Team India for the upcoming Asian Cup, calling it a “brave” and “wise” decision. On Monday, BCCI's All India Senior Selection Committee, led by chief selector Ajit Agarkar, announced the 17-man squad for the continental showdown, to be played in Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 31. Varma was added to the squad as the sixth specialist batsman alongside skipper Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav.
“I think it's a wonderful selection. I call it brave, but in the same breath I call it smart,” Moody told Star Sports.
“He's clearly a player on the rise, as I mentioned before. Not only does he have skills, he also has a tremendous temperament and he shows it regularly.”
“We talked about the value of being left-handed at the top tier, so if he gets into fifth or sixth position it will be valuable for India, especially because he has that balance against spin.”
Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar also echoed Moody's views, praising Varma's outstanding form during the West Indies T20Is in the Caribbean and United States earlier this month for his call-up to the ODI team.
“Look at his national career. He has the numbers to justify an assignment for India. And, tongue in cheek, he's also preparing for 50-over cricket by failing in his last two T20 games. It's tough.” I find a weakness in him, in white ball cricket,” he said.
Alongside Varma, Moody was also impressed with the overall selection of the Indian squad for the tournament and felt there was no discrepancy in the decisions.
“Well what looks good first is the fitness, the tic that both KL Rahul and Iyer have received. You know they're both quality players, they both really give someone and experience medium quality,” Moody said.
There were doubts about the fitness of Rahul and Iyer, who are making comebacks after thigh and back surgeries respectively. Iyer last played in March and Rahul in May.
“I really enjoyed the transparency and honesty shown at this press conference. I think communication is really important sometimes, be it in India or in another country,” he continued.
Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was a notable omission from the squad, leaving India with just one wrist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav. Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are the other spin bowling options.
“I liked the fact that they made the wrist spin decision very clear as to why they just went for a wrist spin and just little dots around it,” he said.
“The little problem that might have arisen with KL Rahul, just little things like that, you can't help but get behind the new chairman and this team because you feel like you're involved, you feel like Being part of the journey.” Now you're not sure what exactly is happening.
(Except for the headline, this article was not edited by NDTV staff and is published via a syndicated feed.)
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