When he first arrived on the scene, Washington Sundar was highly recommended by none other than former India captain, and one of the country's best batsmen, Rahul Dravid, a recommendation not to be taken lightly by any means.
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"He [Dravid] told I had the skillset and ability to perform well at the highest level. He is one of the greatest in the world. He has captained India for so many years. People like him won't be saying something like that just for the sake of saying it, just to make me feel better," Washington Sundar had told International Business Times in 2017.
Washington Sundar became an overnight sensation when he bowled Rising Pune Supergiant to a sensational victory over Mumbai Indians in the 2017 IPL qualifier match. The off-spinner was entrusted with bowling in the power play by skipper Steve Smith right through the league and the off-spinner responded in brilliant fashion.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer has been a regular in all formats for his state since then and, in fact, was the star performer in the 2019-20 Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. Unlike in the IPL, Washington Sundar is an opening batsman who bowls off-spin for Tamil Nadu.
He finished as the state’s second-highest run scorer in India’s premier domestic T20 tournament with 271 runs at 54.20, only behind Dinesh Karthik’s 301 runs.
The lanky all-rounder went on to prove that he is a genuine match winner even in the longer format. His all-round show, 88 in the first innings with the bat and 11 wickets in the match, helped India Red beat India Blue in the Duleep Trophy.
Washington Sundar not being given enough chances
Fast forward to IPL 2019 and Washington Sundar was only considered good enough to bowl 9 overs in the entire IPL season and also hardly ever batted.
This statistic is quite baffling considering that Bangalore has been very poor with their bowling across all the IPL’s and Sundar has been known to bowl well with the new ball and is also considered a decent batsman. Washington Sundar also got to bowl all of 1 over in the first match this year.
All this points to the team management probably not having a great deal of trust in him. It is indeed a sad state. Will Washington Sundar be better off playing for another team where he might get more game time?
Washington Sundar is too good a player to be cooling his heels at a time when he needs as much game time as possible. Would the IPL committee look at this aspect? If a player wants to move or requests a transfer, will this be encouraged?
Time will only tell as to whether the amount of time that Washington Sundar is on the sidelines derails his career or will serve as a motivation for him. The only positive aspect is that he has age on his side.Published 24 Sep 2020, 15:26 IST