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Tilak brings versatility to Indian team, Yashasvi brings fearlessness: Wasim Jaffer

New Delhi [India], August 3 (ANI): Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer said on Thursday that the inclusion of young batter Tilak Varma will bring flexibility and versatility to Team India as he can bat in various positions and bowl off-spin too if needed. He also backed an in-form opener Yashasvi Jaiswal to fire for Men in Blue in the T20I series against West Indies which started on Thursday.

India and West Indies will play five T20I matches.

"Both (Jaiswal and Tilak) have come up because of their performances in the IPL. Not just this IPL, Tilak has done for couple of seasons, Yashasvi has done for 1.5 years, especially this season. Yashasvi bats at the top, that is where we need that attacking approach," Wasim said in a video posted by ESPNCricinfo.

"Tilak is a flexible guy, he can bat from positions four to seven. He can play as a finisher. We have seen him do that for Mumbai Indians. He can bowl that off-spin if needed. India needs someone like that, a top-order player who can bowl and give us a sixth or seventh bowling option. Tilak brings versatility to the team. Yashasvi brings that fearless approach. He is in top form, in confidence, just expecting him to play how he did in the IPL," he added.

Tilak has been a good find for MI. In his debut season in 2022, which saw MI finish at the bottom, he scored 397 runs in 14 matches at an average of 36.09, with a strike rate of 131.02.

He scored two half-centuries with best score of 61. In his second season this year with the Blue and Gold side, he scored 343 runs in 11 matches at an average of 42.88 and a strike rate of above 164. He scored one half-century, a gutsy knock of 84 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Jaiswal had a breakout season with Rajasthan Royals after showing flashes of his attacking game in previous seasons. In 14 matches, he scored 625 runs at an average of 48.08 and a strike rate of 163.61. He scored a century and five fifties, with the best score of 124. He was the fifth-highest run-scorer in IPL 2023 and top-scorer for his side.

Jaiswal also had a fantastic start to his international cricket career during two-match Test series against West Indies. In two matches, he scored 266 runs in three innings at an average of 88.66, with one century and one fifty. He scored a brilliant 171 in his first-ever international innings for India.

India's T20I squad against West Indies: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Surya Kumar Yadav (VC), Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya (C), Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar. (ANI)