Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar is mighty impressed with young Mumbai Indians batter Tilak Varma, who has been one of the few bright spots in the five-time IPL champions' otherwise listless campaign in IPL 2022.
The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai are currently 10th and last on the points table, but Varma has stood out for his fine batting, averaging nearly 41 in the 12 games he has played so far in his debut season.
Gavaskar feels the elegant 19-year-old left-hand batter from Hyderabad, who has so far played just 15 T20 games, has good cricketing brains and could be an all-format India batter.
A member of India's U-19 World Cup squad in 2020, he was bought by the Mumbai franchise for Rs 1.7 crore after an extremely competitive bidding competition from the likes of Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
Varma has so far amassed 368 runs in IPL 2022, with a highest of 61 and has remained unbeaten on three occasions. The left-hander's big-hitting capability has also come to the fore as he has smashed 27 boundaries and 15 maximums coming in the middle order.
"Tilak Varma's temperament (in IPL 2022) has been fantastic. In his knock against Chennai Super Kings, he walked into the middle when the team was under pressure. But the way he dealt in ones and twos (early on) was impressive. He played a wide range of shots and kept rotating the strike. This shows that he has a good cricketing head on his shoulders, and I think that's important.
"Once you have that good cricketing brain, you will be able to lift yourself when things are not going your way. You can analyse yourself and get back to scoring runs," said Gavaskar on Cricket Live, Star Sports.
Gavaskar also praised the youngster for having the basics right and agreed with Rohit Sharma's observation that the rising Hyderabad cricketer could be an all-format India batter in the future.
"He's got the basics right. Technically he's right. He gets right behind the line of the ball. He's got a straight bat, and while defending on the front foot his bat is close to the pad. So, all his basics are right.
"With all the right basics you've got to marry the temperament and that marriage we have seen is very good at the moment. I hope that he carries on. Rohit Sharma rightly mentioned that he could be an all-format player for India. So now it's up to him to work that little bit extra, get his fitness going, get a little tighter as far as the technique is concerned and prove Rohit right," added Gavaskar.