‘Seems like Ashwin gave him guru-mantra on how to dismiss Smith’, Zaheer Khan lauds Sundar’s bowling on Test debut
All-rounder Washington Sundar on Friday became the 301st cricketer to represent India in the longest format of the game. He made his Test debut memorable by getting the prized wicket of Steve Smith who had scored a hundred in the previous match in Sydney.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who didn’t feature in the Brisbane Test for not being fully fit, remains the only bowler to have removed Smith thrice in the ongoing Test series. In the former’s absence, Sundar came up with a plan to get the better of the Aussie batsman on the opening day of the match.
Impressed with his stellar bowling show on debut, former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan suggested that Sundar might have received tips from Ashwin before going into the game in Brisbane.
“It seemed like Ashwin gave Washington Sundar the guru-mantra on how to dismiss Steve Smith, along with his cap, about the line to be bowled in these conditions. We saw that he was able to get the ball to drift like Ashwin although he is quicker in the air than Ashwin,” Zaheer said on Sony Sports Network.
The former Indian left-arm pointed out that Sundar could turn more lethal in the second innings as the pitch might offer more turn.
“The line which he bowls to the right-handers, he will give trouble to them, especially when his faster deliveries get grip from the pitch. Then his straighter ones can prove to be even better. So, I believe when he comes in the second innings, and there is help like that in the wicket, he will cause a lot of problems. But the way he bowled his 22 overs, considering that there was not that much help from the pitch the way we have normally seen so far on this tour, I feel it was a very good day for him,” Zaheer further said.
Earlier today, another debutant T Natarajan picked the crucial wickets of Marnus Labuschagne (108) and Matthew Wade (45) to keep the visitors in the game. At stumps, skipper Tim Paine (38) and Cameron Green (28) stood tall as the score read 274/5.