Nidahas Trophy 2018: Jaydev Unadkat hails young Washington Sundar’s powerplay impact

Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat feels Washington Sundar’s ability to contain batsmen in the first six overs will be key for India in their clash against Sri Lanka in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series.

cricket Updated: Mar 11, 2018 23:14 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Nidahas Trophy 2018,Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series,Jaydev Unadkat
Washington Sundar has represented India in three T20 internationals. (AFP)

India left-arm paceman Jaydev Unadkat feels the poise shown by 18-year-old off-spinner Washington Sundar bowling in the first six powerplay overs have helped contain batsmen and will be key going forward in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series. (Nidahas Trophy full coverage)

The 26-year-old Unadkat took a career-best 3/38 in the six-wicket win over Bangladesh on Thursday, underlining his skill in T20 cricket that fetched him Rs 11.5 crore from Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League auction.

Unadkat credited 18-year-old off-spinner Washington Sundar’s poise while bowling in the powerplay overs and said it has played an important role for India in the tournament.

(Read | Nidahas Trophy 2018: India aim to keep hurting Sri Lanka down)

In the first game defeat against Sri Lanka, the hosts were 75/2 after six overs, but Bangladesh stumbled to 44 for 2 in that powerplay phase at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Unadkat said at the press conference ahead of Monday’s game against Sri Lanka: “What benefits us is the way Sundar can contain the batsman. As an off-spinner, it is difficult at times. What stands out for me is his variation of pace. He keeps it simple. When a bowler is containing from one end in the powerplay, the batsmen do come under pressure and make a mistake.”

(Read | Mohammed Shami remains hopeful of India comeback, reconciliation with wife)

Sundar opened the bowling in both games of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series games, against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Against the hosts, Sundar had mixed fortunes, taking the wicket of Kusal Mendis in the powerplay but getting hit for two sixes by Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Perera.

Against Bangladesh, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner bowled with accuracy and conceded just nine runs in his first two overs. His economy rate of 6.37 is the lowest among all bowlers in this tournament.

Variations important

Unadkat, who has enjoyed success in the Twenty20 format since the 2017 IPL, stressed on variations to be successful.

(Read | Nidahas Trophy T20: Mushfiqur Rahim dedicates knock to son as Bangladesh pull off record chase vs Sri Lanka)

“Variations are the most important part in this format. If the batsman is expecting us to do something and we come out different, then we have achieved success. Variations are deceptive only if it is not pre-meditated and the batsmen do not expect it all the time,” Unadkat said.

Open tournament great

Bangladesh achieved a record chase against Sri Lanka on Saturday to throw open the tournament. Mushfiqur Rahim’s 72 not out off 35 balls helped Bangladesh chase down 215, the fourth-highest successful T20 chase. Each team has a win and loss each with a game left. Unadkat said it was great for the team.

“The tournament is wide open and that allows us to play good cricket. It will keep us on our feet. For us, all the games are crucial. The tournament is important to express ourselves.”

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 19:02 IST