'He has more natural ability than I had,' coach Ravi Shastri's huge praise for India allrounder
In a matter of only a few games, Washington Sundar has broken his way into the India Test team. But while some would think the allrounder spun his way into the contention, the 21-year-old, in fact, batted his way to make it into the playing XI.
Washington Sundar was picked first in Australia, in the 4th Test at Gabba, when several players were ruled out due to injury. He showcased his talent with the willow, scoring a half-century in his first-innings, and stitching a crucial partnership with Shardul Thakur.
He displayed similar skills with the bat in the first Test against England when he scored an unbeaten 85 in the first innings in Chennai. But he was not done. The left-handed batsman scored a crucial 96* in the first innings of the 4th Test, and paved way for India to win in Ahmedabad by an innings and 25 runs.
Coach Ravi Shastri praised Sundar for his skills in a virtual interaction with the media a day after India's 3-1 series win. "I think Washy has far more natural ability than I had," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
"He has the ability and he belongs at this level and he can go a long way. If he could focus on his bowling (in Tests), India could have a very good number six for overseas conditions.
"Someone who can get you those 50s, 60s and 70s and then bowl for you 20 overs and can pick up 2-3 wickets. That was my role overseas (during whole of 1980s) and I think he can do that role easily," Shastri added..
"Definitely, he should be batting in the top four for his state. There is no question about that. I would like to have a word with Tamil Nadu selectors or DK (captain Dinesh Karthik) for that matter. I think he should be batting in the top four," he further said.
"Washington Sundar, this is unreal. Facing some of the toughest bowlers in the world. I would say this innings was far better as the WTC was on line," he signed off.