Test centuries are not easily scored. And Washington Sundar missed out on reaching the century twice in the Test series against England, once he remained unbeaten after scoring 85 and 96 the second time. The batsmen did not get along at the other end and Sunder’s hundred could not be made. But this 21-year-old player does not need to be depressed as the century he is batting is not far away.
The left-handed batsman had said after missing out on a century – “Never mind, if I keep playing like this, then I will get more opportunities”.
This confidence sets Sundar apart from the rest of the players. In the Brisbane Test, where the match was in a difficult situation, Sundar told his father and coach that India would win the match. Sundar played a useful innings on the last day in this match. Sundar’s father had said, “We all felt that the draw would be a favorable outcome for us, but he was not thinking so.”
Washington can contribute from both the ball and bat. Looking at his performance, he seems to be a spin bowling all-rounder like Ravi Shastri. A player who can bat in the top 6. On the other hand, Shastri feels that this young player has more talent than him.
Shastri had said, ‘I think Washi has more natural talent, I did not have so much talent. He has talent and can play at this level and at the same time his career can be quite long. If he can concentrate on his bowling in the Test, then India will have a great player at number six in foreign conditions.
Shastri believes that Sundar’s aim should be to take a half-century and one-two wickets. He said, ‘I had the same role in the team in the 1980s. And I think he can do it easily. ‘ He said that he would ask Tamil Nadu captain Dinesh Karthik to make Sundar bat in the top 4 in Ranji Trophy.
Sunil Subrahmanyam was the first to recognize Sundar’s batting ability. Sundar had come to his under-training as an under-16 player. Subrahmanyam told our colleague Times of India, ‘When I saw him, I got a glimpse of two big players from Tamil Nadu, WV Raman and Sadgopan Ramesh. Apart from this, he also had Temperament. When I was the manager of Team India, Sundar joined the team, I had told Ravi (Shastri) then that he is a very good cricketer.
The senior coach, however, is still a strong contender for batting at number six in foreign conditions, where the ball moves too much. Subrahmanyam said, ‘We saw his way of playing on the backfoot in Australia. He knows how to play spin but he has not been tested in front of the swinging ball. They will need time to adapt to those situations and prepare themselves.
He has a habit of bowling bowled due to playing too much T20 cricket. And where the pitch is helping the spinners, they can also take some wickets.
But Subrahmanyam believes that Sundar’s off-spin is improving. He said, “He is a hardworking player and will definitely be better.”