Former England cricketer, Mark Butcher lavished high praises on Washington Sundar’s batting ability after the left-hander took India to a respectable first-innings total with his unbeaten knock of 85 runs on Day 4 of the ongoing Test match between India and England in Chennai.
Washington Sundar, who scored fifty on his Test debut in the victorious Test in Brisbane, was picked over Kuldeep Yadav for his superior batting skills, both in Brisbane and in Chennai. He came in to bat at number 7 with India’s score of 192/5. The left-hander built partnerships with Rishabh Pant, then R Ashwin, and then with the tailenders to take India to 337.
He played his strokes with freedom and authority against all the English bowlers; Sundar recorded 12 fours and 2 exquisite sixes which makes Mark Butcher lauds his batting.
“He’s a fabulous player. If we didn’t know that he’s coming down the order and No. 7 and that he’s picked mainly for his bowling, you’d say he is a top-order player. Wonderful strokes to spin out of the rough, to Jack Leach. It became a trademark of the innings. He’s a pretty talented young man,” Mark Butcher said while speaking to Star Sports.
“He (Sundar) didn’t allow Dom Bess to get away with any poor deliveries this morning. Dom Bess looked a little tired. That was one of the shots of the day, that beautiful on drive off Jofra Archer. The balance was perfect, the head was right over the ball. That was perfect,” he added.
Washington Sundar can challenge Ravindra Jadeja: Mark Butcher
Mark Butcher reckons if Washington Sundar can bowl better – he had figures of 0/98 in the first innings against England – and pick up wickets consistently, he could be a really good replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who missed the Brisbane Test and is ruled out of the England series due to a fractured thumb.
With Hardik Pandya not at his full fitness to bowl, and Jadeja already 32, Sundar has emerged to be the front-runner for the all-rounder’s role – but as Butcher says, the off-spinner has got be bowl better.
“I mean, the guy can really play. People may just be hoping that he plays some part with the ball in hand. He was a bit disappointing in the first innings, but if he can get that going, then what an all-rounder you’ve got there. Somebody to challenge or replace Ravindra Jadeja,” the former batsman added.