Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar has heaped high praise on off-spin all-rounder Washington Sundar after the Tamil Nadu cricketer played yey another brilliant knock with the bat in the ongoing first Test against England.
Washington Sundar made his debut during the series decider at the Gabba against Australia where he showed great composure and mental fortitude along with his precocious batting skills. Coming in to bat at 6/186, Sundar scored a brilliant 62 in his maiden Test innings and along with Shardul Thakur, stitched a game-changing 123-run-stand for the 7th wicket. He then backed it up with a counter-attacking knock of 22 in the second innings.
He was at it again in the ongoing Test against England as he notched up his 2nd half-century in just his 3rd Test innings. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder stitched a valuable 80-run-stand with Ravichandran Ashwin to help India breach the 300-run mark in response to England’s 578. Sundar was left stranded on 85 as the home side lost its last three wickets for 32 runs.
“He and Ravichandran Ashwin, that partnership of 80-plus got India back in them. If they had dismissed for not too many, then England would have had a lead of 341 instead of 241. Then they would have declared after giving their bowlers enough overs to recover. Those things would have come into play,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports.
“Look at the way Washington Sundar batted. Some of the shots he played were fabulous. That lofted shot of James Anderson for a six and then the shot against Joe Root as well. A well-deserved half-century, he deserved a 100 but unfortunately, batting at No. 7 you don’t get a lot of hundreds. That 85 not out is as good as a hundred,” he added.
Apart from some of the gorgeous shots that Washington Sundar played, what impressed Sunil Gavaskar the most was the manner in which he defended against the likes of Jofra Archer and James Anderson. The former opener added that a combination of the right basics and good temperament is what makes Washington Sundar a very good player.
“He recognised the threat of Anderson and Archer. Different bowlers, Anderson gets the ball to move, Archer is quick. So, I think he had to be a little more cautious. “What was more impressive is his technique than the shots he played,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
“Often it’s the way you defend a good ball that tells how good a player you are and the way he was defending those deliveries against Anderson, Archer and against the turn as well, the way he was playing the backfoot defence shows he has got the basics right. Basics added to very good temperament makes a very good player. I think he is a very good player,” Gavaskar added.