Ever since replacing the injured Ravichandran Ashwin in the IPL 2017, Washinton Sundar has been enjoying the limelight and is been seen relishing the pressure of bowling in T20 cricket. He first showed his mettle for Rising Supergiant in that very season where his 179 balls for the franchise went for less than 6.5 with his economy across 11 games. He also picked up 8 wickets. But it was his miserliness, especially in the powerplay overs, that stood out. T20 is a format where you need excellent defensive bowling options, Washinton has been magnificently exemplifying this.
It is this quality that impressed everyone including the Indian selectors who rewarded him with the place in the Indian Team for the Nidahas Trophy recently. And Sundar was outstanding in it. His economy rate of less than 6 across five games with the short boundary at the R. Premadasa played a pivotal role in India winning the tournament in the absence of their bowling mainstays for the tournament. It was Washinton Sundar who gave India the room for Dinesh Kartik in the final.
Sundar is currently preparing the upcoming IPL season and being bagged by Royal Challengers Bangalore, the franchise will be expecting big things from him.
Washinton doesn't have the variations that you see with some other bowlers, it is his ability to judge the batsmen's move and catch them off guard virtually is what stands out.
Talking about the same to Wisden recently, he said, “Obviously, offspinners with mystery balls have an advantage, but when you don’t have those mystery balls, you have to stick to your strengths and believe that you can perform in crunch situations with whatever you already have. I haven’t had to look at options (such as mystery balls) because I think it’s too early in my career to be looking at these things.”
“I do want to try things and add new things to my bowling, but it’s also important to know exactly what works at this moment in my career. I believe that I can keep bowling this way for a long time,” he further reiterated.
The 18-year-old is quite analytical in nature, though and finally gave the detail to his words. Stating, “It’s important to not be predictable, When an offspinner is bowling, as a batsman you know that most of his deliveries are going to come at around 100 kmph. It’s important to bluff the batsman at times, and it’s important to ensure that ball lands in the right spot. Flighting the ball in this format is very difficult so when you’re trying it, you should be absolutely sure of being able to execute it. That’s what I try to do and that’s how I practice too.”
Washinton also got praise from his India and now, RCB teammate, Yuzvendra Chahal. Talking about Washinton, Chahal said, “We bowled well in the Nidahas trophy, He bowled in the Power Play and I bowled in the middle overs. So now we have more options. In earlier seasons, I used to play in the Power Play and would just be left with two overs. Now we have one more who can bowl in this crucial period.”