Tamil Nadu’s teenage sensation Washington Sundar is on cloud nine after receiving a last-minute call as replacement for an injured Kedar Jadhav in India’s ODI squad which will take on Sri Lanka in three-match ODI series from December 10 (Sunday). Just 6 days ago, Sundar had earned his maiden call-up into the Indian T20 side.
Since the 18-year-old all-rounder wasn't expecting a possible maiden ODI call-up, he was mentally preparing himself for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka which will be played later this month. However, now that he has been picked in ODI team, Washington said that his preparation over the last three days at NCA in Bengaluru has kept him fully organized for the challenge.
"An ODI call-up at this stage of my career feels great and it's an amazing moment for me. As a professional cricketer, you need to be always prepared for whatever opportunity which you get. I have been gearing up for the T20 series at the NCA. I need to tune myself on the mental front slightly from T20s to 50-overs cricket. And I'm ready for the challenge," Washington was quoted by TOI as saying.
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.
Tamil Nadu coach and Rising Pune Supergiants’ assistant coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who has observed Washington from the close quarters, believes that the lad it in him to perform at the highest level.
"There are some people who impress in the nets, but they may not be able to transform that potential in a match situation. But I always felt Washington had that match-winning ability. He had that spark. He has the knack of delivering at the crunch time and is capable of pulling off things when it's needed most. He remains unfazed by star names in the opposite ranks," Kanitkar told TOI.
Washington has left Bengaluru late on Saturday night and is expected to join the Rohit Sharma-led team on Sunday morning.
India ODI Squad:
Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Washington Sundar