Rising Pune Supergiant's 17-year-old off-spinner Washington Sundar may have claimed just eight wickets in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), but he has already made a name for himself with his disciplined bowling.
Sundar's three for 16 against Mumbai Indians in Qualifier-1 at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday earned him the honour of being the youngest to be given the man-of-the-match award as his side earned a direct entry into Sunday's final.
Former India opener WV Raman, who played alongside Washington's father in inter-school cricket in Chennai, said there were challenges aplenty for this promising kid. "He is just starting out. It's better not to get carried away with what people do in IPL. The more he plays, the more experience he will gain and he too realises that it's not going to be easy," Raman told mid-day yesterday.
Rising Pune Supergiant's Washington Sundar celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard during IPL's Qualifier-1 at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
'More of a batsman'
Sundar's presence has come in handy for RPS who lost Ravichandran Ashwin through injury. "He's a kid, who is enjoying his cricket. I think we should let him play his cricket. Basically, he is a more of a batsman who can also bowl some useful off-spin. Maybe, what we can read of his IPL performance is that he can handle pressure. That's one thing we can give him credit for. He has done well in the limited opportunities he has got this season," Raman added.
Chennai-based former Hyderabad off-spinner V Ramnarayan likes what he sees of Sundar's bowling. "He has a nice, high arm action and a good head on his shoulders. He appears unafraid of the batsman's reputation - he bowls in the same fashion to Chris Gayle like he would to any other batsman. He doesn't seem to get carried away by the hype surrounding the IPL," said 69-year-old Ramnarayan, who played with great offies like S Venkataraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna in the South Zone side during the 1970s.
'Sundar keeps it simple'
"Sundar is a thinking bowler and has a different plan for each batsman. He keeps it simple; doesn't do anything fancy and also realises that he doesn't have to turn a ball a lot in this form of cricket," Ramnarayan added. Sundar made his Ranji Trophy debut for Tamil Nadu against Mumbai in Rohtak last season. He opened the innings and scored 40 in the second innings in a low-scoring match which Mumbai won.
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