Following a spate of injuries, the India cricket team was thrown into the deep end ahead of the fourth and final Test against home side Australia in the recently concluded series.
But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as India unearthed a red-ball gem in Washington Sundar while notching up a ‘One for the ages’ triumph in Brisbane. Thanks to his all-round abilities, the 21-year-old Washington was preferred to chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav to replace the injured Ravichandran Ashwin at the Gabba.
The debutant, who hails from Chennai, justified his selection in the eleven by taking to Test cricket like a fish to water. Someone who was initially picked only as a net bowler for the long-format series, Washington deserves every bit of praise for his exploits with both bat and ball.
The local lad was felicitated by Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali at Amir Mahal, at an event organised by Whiteleaf Talent Management on Monday and later spoke to media personnel.
You made your Test debut at the Gabba in Brisbane. How good was your personal preparation leading up to the series finale?
I thank the India team management for giving me an opportunity to prepare on Australian soil for over a month. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I worked a lot on my fitness, game and skillsets during the tour.
You appeared in India whites for the first time alongside state-mate Thangarasu Natarajan, who also received his India cap.
How delighted were you to share the dressing room and pitch with him?
It was amazing. I have known him for quite some time now. I have watched him closely and seen how he approaches games. I always thought that an India cap was on the cards in the near future for him. The way he bowled in the death overs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 helped him. He got a lot of confidence from that. He was amazing in the T20 series. I feel glad to have played alongside him in the T20 as well as the Test series. He is a pure inspiration and will improve for sure in the future.
You replaced ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the eleven for the last match.
Did you have a chat with him on how to approach the game?
We had a lot of conversations ahead of the Gabba Test and I did implement a few things that we spoke about. He was very helpful during the tour.
Your next assignment is the Test series against England. How pumped up are you for that?
I am really looking forward to the series. It will be my first series in India. As it is against a quality side, the series will be exciting. It will be great if I get to play at Chepauk, which is very close to my heart.
- Innings: 2
- Runs scored: 84
- Highest score: 62
- Wickets: 4
- Best bowling in an innings: 3/89
- Washington Sundar shared a 123-run stand with Shardul Thakur in the first innings to bring India back in the game
- The 21-year-old’s first scalp in Test cricket was a prized one - Steve Smith
- The Chennai lad scored 22 crucial runs on the final day to help India win