The right-arm off-spinner Washington Sundar who made an impact with his Indian Premier League (IPL) performance has been picked in the Indian team squad for the T20 series against Sri Lanka on Monday. Sundar is excited to be a part of the Indian team and play alongside with his teammate from Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), MS Dhoni.
Speaking to Indian Express.com the Tamil-Nadu all-rounder said, “Any cricketer would want to play alongside MS Dhoni. I have played a few games with him in the IPL but playing alongside him for the country is different, quite special. I am really looking forward to it. He always makes the job easier for any bowler and he did the same for me as well. So I am happy that I am able to represent India when he is also in the team.”
Washington is unclear what made him get into the side, his IPL or Domestic performance.
“I cannot be particular on what contributed to my selection but I think I did well in IPL and I also played a match against Australia representing Board Presidents XI and I did well there. Last year, I also did well in Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy. So I think everything put together worked for me.”
“At the back of my mind, I had a belief that I may be picked for the T20’s,” the 18-year-old added.
The all-rounder, Sundar is happy to contribute in any possible way to the team.
“I think I want to be a player in whichever area my team needs me the most. I think I should be a versatile player rather than sticking to just one spot.”
Along with the 18-year-old Washington, Baroda batsman Deepak Hooda and Kerala pacer Basil Thampi has been picked in the T20 squad. Sundar said the news is yet to be spread in his local area.
“The news is yet to spread. Since I got the information from my coach, I informed only my parents and a few close friends. My parents are extremely happy. Any parent whose son is just 18 years old and is representing the country already at the highest level will be. It is the happiest moment for them. I am happy that I got a call at this stage and I would like to take this opportunity and make the most of it.”
Sundar didn't forget to remember the late Army officer PD Washington after whom he got his first name. PD Washington was his father’s mentor who lived two streets away from the Sundar family and died before Washington Sundar was born. “He was extremely fond of cricket. My father believes PD Washington lives in me and today I am really happy and proud that I have his name and will represent the country,” he signed off.
Washington had passed the Yo-Yo test to get in the contention for selection. He could not pass this speed and endurance examination in early October this year when he was all but picked in the Indian team for the Twenty20 series against Australia.