Updated: February 7, 2022 11:59:33 am
Washington Sundar has had to endure a painful five months away from the game due to a finger injury but the lanky Tamil Nadu off-spinner says he used the forced break to get better as a cricketer as that was all he could control.
Washington missed out on the T20 World Cup but Ravichandran Ashwin’s underwhelming show in white-ball games and subsequent ouster brought him back in the mix as he made his international return with a 3/30 against West Indies in first ODI.
“There were a lot of challenges but I just wanted to do what I could do to improve myself as a cricketer and human being. That’s all that’s in my control and I was only focussing on that,” Washington said at the post-match press conference on Sunday.
Washington has understood in the past two years that there would be roadblocks and then but he will have to create his own mechanism to counter them. He first missed the T20 World Cup and then COVID-19 played truant when he was about to board the flight to South Africa.
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“Yes, there will always be challenges, that’s something that I have realised especially in the last couple of years. “But what matters is how I push myself, keep getting better at the aspects that I want to and keep improving myself as a cricketer. I’ve tried to focus on it and by doing that, that has kept me in good stead,” the young spinner elaborated.
Washington said there are two World Cups coming up, one T20 later this year and the ODI World Cup in 2023 and his focus will remain on those. “It was very very disappointing to have lost out on a chance to play the World Cup. But yes, there are two World Cups in the next 15-16 months, so that should be my focus.”
Now that he is back, Washington knows that more games that he plays, better and sharper he will become. “More than anything, I have always wanted to be in the present and keep getting better as a cricketer.
“If I do that, there would be a lot of opportunities and also the fact that I would be able to perform a lot better. I have loved to stay in the present and enjoy the game,” he added. Talking about the match, it was all about focussing on his strengths.
“I was just bowling to my strength and of course we had some plans for their batsmen. “They are relatively aggressive and we just wanted to execute the plans and it has been a while since I have played in Indian colours, so it was very good for me to be back, and it was heartening to get an opportunity a well. I just wanted to bowl to my strengths and had a very good day,” Washington said.
On Sunday too, Sundar bowled early in the power-play, and he said the experience of the Vijay Hazare Trophy helped him. “That’s something I have been doing in the last few years. I enjoy bowling in the Powerplay now with the new ball. Even the fact that I played Vijay Hazare, that helped me bowl in different situations of the game.
“Even there, I bowled a lot with the new ball. All those experiences have definitely helped,” he added. India have a new white-ball captain in Rohit Sharma and Washington stressed that the Mumbaikar asks his bowlers to bowl to their strengths.
He always wants bowlers to bowl to their strengths, not really get carried away with too much planning. He just asks us to stick to our strengths and execute every delivery accordingly, the spinner added. He also said that he is immensely benefited by the guidance given by skipper Rohit and Virat Kohli, under whom he played in the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
They exactly know what needs to be done in that particular situation in the conditions and especially against different batsmen so when they come together especially to a bowler like me, who is young, it brings lot of belief and confidence and more than anything, they let me know what exactly to be done, he added.
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