At just 18 years of age, Washington Sundar earned his maiden call-up for the Indian squad, that will play against Sri Lanka in a three-match T20 series which will start from December 20. Named after PD Washington as a mark of thanksgiving to his mentor by his father, Sundar has risen in the ranks from the age-group level to the Under-19 level and from Tamil Nadu to Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). A left-handed top-order batsman who also bowls off-spin, the 18-year-old made a rather low-key first-class debut-coming after an impressive performance for India in the Under-19 World Cup which was held in Bangladesh. India eventually finished runner-up losing the finals against West Indies. Being unsold during the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions, Sundar was recruited as an injury replacement to R Ashwin. The 18-year-old made his T20 debut during the 2017 IPL for Rising Pune Supergiant.
He made a big impact with his bowling during the Qualifier against Mumbai Indians, taking the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu, finishing with figures of 3 for 16 off four overs and with it the Man of the Match award. He didn’t do a bad job in the final either, finishing with impressive figures of three for 16, even though RPS lost the game by one run.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder will try to make his mark in his probable debut on December 20 under the leadership of Rohit Sharma. Indian captain Virat Kohli along with other senior players has been rested for the T20 series. Apart from Kohli the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested for the series. The only senior player to feature in the short-format is former Indian captain MS Dhoni.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka was all out for 373 leaving the Men In Blue a lead of over 150 runs. Talking about Virat Kohli and men’s second innings, India’s ploy on paper happened to come out right with Cheteshwar Pujara carrying on with a positive approach even after lunch. They ended the second session at 192/4, an overall lead of 355. Pujara’s was out for a brisk 49, while Dhawan picked up after a scratchy start to score a 91-ball 67 to help India boost their lead. Although Shikhar Dhawan continued to be subdued, Pujara pushed himself and was able to score freely. While he used his feet against Dilruwan Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva’s spin to pick boundaries, he remained constantly on the prowl to rotate the strike against the pacers.
India stretched their lead to 355 and they have kept everyone guessing regarding the declaration. Sri Lanka would have been happy to effect four dismissals, however, the major theme has been about waiting for the inevitable.