Watch: 'I’ll be there for you' - Tilak Varma grateful for Rohit Sharma's support after Asia Cup selection

The youngster revealed words of encouragement and backing from India and Mumbai Indians skipper after finding an unexpected nod for the Asia Cup. 
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Tilak Varma expressed gratitude towards his Mumbai Indians (MI) and India captain Rohit Sharma for being a constant support in his journey after finding a surprise nod for the Asia Cup 2023. The 20-year-old became the selectors' left-field choice for the subcontinental event, starting August 30, an outlier and late inclusion to the side's 2023 World Cup plans. 

After an impressive T20I debut in the Caribbean & USA, Varma had inspired suggestions on his promise and ability while garnering calls for his inclusion to the 50-overs side with uncertainty around middle-order incumbents KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.

Ultimately, even as the Rahul-Iyer duo returned, his multidimensional game helped him enter the senior ODI set-up. The youngster not only provides an attacking middle-order option but also provides left-hand utility to counter match-ups and can chip in overs as a part-time off-spinner.

Rohit and chief selector Ajit Agarkar said the promise and multifold options Tilak Varma brings to the table were too hard to ignore as he earns the chance to spend time with modern-day stalwarts such as Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, who would help him grow in his skills and knowledge. 

Tilak Varma on unexpected Asia Cup selection 

Speaking on a memorable occasion from Dublin where he is busy with the alternate squad led by Bumrah playing the T20I series against Ireland, Varma said he "never thought" he will be making the One-Day side directly with a marquee tournament such as the Asia Cup. 

The bright young talent was grateful for the constant support and guidance provided by the experienced Rohit Sharma in his journey and revealed words of encouragement and backing from the skipper inspiring him to these heights. 

"I have never thought of making an ODI debut directly in the Asia Cup. I have always dreamt of playing for India but debuting in two formats in a single year is a big thing for me so I’m preparing for it," Varma said. 

"Rohit Bhai has always backed me, even in the IPL. I was very nervous when I joined the team [Mumbai Indians], but he was the one who came to me and spoke to me. He asked me to enjoy the game and never hesitate in reaching out. He said, ‘Feel free to contact me anytime. Text me or call me, I’ll be there for you’," he added.