Tamil Nadu’s teenage sensation Washington Sundar is on cloud nine after being named in India’s T20I squad which will take on Sri Lanka later this month. Amidst ecstasy, the all-round cricketer though hasn’t forgotten his initial days as he credited his father and influential coaches for shaping up his cricketing career.
Sundar, who bats left-handed and bowls right-arm off- spin, became the talk of the town when he replaced injured India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) squad in IPL 2017. Ever since his stint in IPL with the leading cricketers such as MS Dhoni, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes, Sundar hasn’t looked back, putting up notable performances in the limited opportunities that he got.
"It is a dream to be part of the Indian team. My father and coaches, including M Senthilnathan, have played a big role in shaping me as a cricketer," Washington quoted by PTI as saying.
The 18-year-old was appeared to be a relieved man after clearing the much-needed 'Yo-Yo' endurance test, having been failed it a couple of months ago.
"I worked hard after failing to clear the Yo-Yo test. Having got through now, it was a big relief," he added.
Delighted on his son’s inclusion in the national team, Washington’s father M Sundar said that his son did reasonably well in the Under-19 World Cup and the selectors took notice.
"As a father and coach, I am very happy. Every cricketer wants this (to play for the country). To get picked in the national team at the age of 18 is a dream and I am thrilled for Washi," Sundar, who named his son after his mentor P D Washington, said.
"Washington did very well in the Under-19 World Cup and the selectors took notice. He bowled very well, especially in the final against West Indies, when he gave away just 18 runs in nine overs. He also did well with the bat.
"Washi also bowled very well and economical spells in the shorter format of the game (as Tamil Nadu won the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy)," he added.
During Tamil Nadu’s Ranji Trophy encounter against Tripura in October, Washington scored a century (159) as an opener but unfortunately didn't get another opportunity to play at the top of the order.
"He is a genuine opener and has done well whenever he has got the chance to bat at the top," Washington’s father concluded as saying.