Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder Washington Sundar was one of the top performers for Rising Pune Supergiant in the previous edition of the tournament.

His right-arm off breaks proved to be vital for Pune. He bowled mostly in the powerplay and made an immediate impact in the 11 matches he played last season. Despite sending half of his overs in the toughest period of the game, Sundar maintained an impressive economy rate of just a tad over six runs per over.

Since then he has gone on from strength to strength and made steady rise from junior to international cricket. It has also helped him break into the national team in the coloured clothing. Maintaining a terrific control, the teenager time and again proved that he enjoys the challenge bowling in powerplays.

He was brilliant in the recently concluded Nidahas Trophy which India won in a dramatic fashion. However, he hasn’t been able to replicate his form in the ongoing Indian Premier League and has leaked runs for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

His off-breaks hasn’t been effective enough which hasn’t really helped Bangalore. They are struggling in the tournament so far with only a couple of victories in six matches. During an exclusive interaction with the Indian Express, Sundar acknowledged the fact he needs to go back to the net, work harder on his skills and focus a little more on his homework.

He further stated he is also fine-tuning his batting skills to contribute more to his franchise. Besides that, the youngster also spoke on various other aspects of the game including his team’s journey in the tournament so far.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Washington Sundar celebrates a wicket with teammates. Photo by: Deepak Malik / IPL/ SPORTZPICS

Despite an indifferent start to their IPL journey, Sundar feels it is a matter of time before Virat Kohli and Co will get things rolling and get the momentum.

“It takes a bit of time for a team to gel together and in terms of it, we are on track. But that doesn’t really matter as long as we perform and execute plans better. We still have quite a good chance to qualify for the knockouts. With the home games coming up, they will be very helpful for us to get deep into the tournament,” he said.

“I have always wanted to keep things simple and think of those aspects, that is under my control. I am really lucky to be under the leadership of Kohli in RCB. He has been really supportive of me especially when I have the ball in my hand. I can’t ask for a better captain, and I want to do well for the team in the matches coming up,” Sundar added.

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In the last year, Sundar bowled his overs at a sensational economy rate of 6.16. However, it has gone up to 9.31 this year. The offie has been quite predictable at times. When asked if it was a cause for concern, Sundar said he needs to remain in the reality and focus on going back to the preparations.

“Everyone becomes predictable. I believe I became so even after I played the first 4 games in IPL last year. Players know what you will do after two or three games. So it doesn’t really matter. In T20s, bowlers go for runs on certain days and on other occasions they are economical. What matters is how realistically you handle these situations to be a mature cricketer. I trust a lot in my preparations, just need to back to the nets, work hard and do my homework. Executing plans is another thing that I need to be working on,” the off-spinner said.

One of the biggest positives for Sundar was his ability to bowl in the powerplay. However, he has gone for runs in this edition and he admitted to conceding a bit more runs than his liking.

“In powerplay, you don’t have too many options with batsmen wanting to hit all six balls with two fielders outside the circle. As I said before, I have always tried to keep things simple and I have been successful at it. I can be pro-active but I just want to accept the fact that I have gone for runs and it is important for me to stay focused and look forward to games coming up.”

Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar has done remarkably well during the powerplay overs. Credits: AFP

Sundar began his career as a top-order batsman. However, his role has reversed and he has become a frontline bowler who can bat a bit. Speaking about batting in the death overs Sundar said,

“I believe a lot in my batting abilities and am definitely looking to bat aggressively. Coming into this tournament I worked hard on certain skills that will help me do better in the death overs. I wish I could do more of it and win games for RCB,” the lanky offie from Chennai said.

Sundar is also hopeful that the 22 yards at the Chinnaswamy stadium will be its old self this year and deliver run-feasts.

“The pitch looks good and definitely not like last year. The par-scores have been higher with each game so it will continue to increase with each match,” he said.

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