Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has reckoned that it seems like Washington Sundar may have received the ‘guru mantra’ of dismissing Steve Smith from his mentor Ravichandran Ashwin along with his Test cap.
Washington Sundar became the 301st Test cricketer to represent India and he was awarded the coveted Indian cap by Ravichandran Ashwin, who missed out on selection due to back-spasm.
Ashwin has had a stranglehold over Steve Smith throughout the series. The ace off-spinner choked the Australian with the leg-stump ploy and accounted for him on three occasions and debutant Washington Sundar emulated the same on Friday as he lulled Steve Smith into an ill-fated flick off his pads, one that was safely gobbled by Rohit Sharma at short mid-wicket.
Let's hear it for @Sundarwashi5, who gets his #TeamIndia ? from @ashwinravi99. He stayed back after the white-ball format to assist the team and is now the proud holder of cap number 301. ?? pic.twitter.com/DY1AwPV0HP
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 14, 2021
Zaheer Khan heaped high praise on the debutant, adding that he was getting a similar drift like Ashwin albeit at a higher pace than his mentor.
“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 Khan said.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 15, 2021
The former pacer also reckoned that Washington Sundar could prove to be even more lethal in Australia’s second innings as he straighter sones and faster deliveries will get more assistance from the pitch as compared to the first innings.
“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,” he added.