There is a lot of similarity between Ravichandran Ashwin and young Washington Sundar. Both hail from Tamil Nadu and are eager to prove themselves on the cricket field, be it with bowling or batting.
On Tuesday, Sundar again proved to be a good understudy, hitting a career best 88 in first-class cricket for India Red and taking two wickets for 55 to put the Suresh Raina-led defending champions India Blue on the back foot in the five-day Duleep Trophy final here.
After enjoying his bowling on a red-clay surface with pink ball under the lights, Sundar accepted that batting wasn’t easy on this track, and he had to think too much in his shot selections.
“After bowling myself, I realised that how difficult was batting for me. The ball was turning and kicking like anything and it wasn’t easy at all, but I kept my cool and punished the loose deliveries,” he said at the end of second day’s play.
Sundar, who struck five sixes in his 118-ball 88, which contained six boundaries too, admitted that he chose to accelerate his batting by hitting boundaries in the end as he was running out of partners.
“This is cricket, and had I been a bit smarter I could have gone on to reach my maiden first-class century,” said Sundar, 17, adding, “Spotting the seam under the lights is quite a challenging task for the batsmen.”
Sundar, who replaced Ashwin at Rising Pune Supergiant in this year’s IPL after showing his class as a genuine all-rounder while playing for India Under-19 at the 2016 World Cup, claimed that he would love to be known as a genuine all-rounder, and his performance would do his reputation no harm.
“I am for cricket and would love to do everything, which is required for my team’s victory,” said Sundar, who admired his Tuesday’s knock very special for him.