M Sundar father of Washington Sundar recalls the moment when Washington played the school match with stitches .
Washington Sundar played with stitches
Till he turned 10, Washington Sundar’s daily ritual involved going to his father M Sundar’s cricket academy in Pudupet, Chennai, at dawn, where he would train for three hours before heading to school.
Wishes starts to pour for the young Sundar after his impressive match saving knock(62 runs) in the 4th test vs Australia. Apart from the poise, he showed at the crease, Washington also showcased the willingness to put up a fight.
Sundar narrates an incident from Washington’s childhood that exemplifies how the youngster hardly gets daunted.
“He was barely 9, and days before an Under-14 inter-school match in Chennai, he got hit on his head during practice. After getting five stitches on his temple, he went to play the match the next day and scored a match-winning 39 not out. That day, I realised that he was not someone who would get fazed by challenges,” Sundar notes.
In fact, facing bowlers much older and experienced than him has been a recurrent theme in Washington’s career. “He was barely 10 when he was already playing at the Under-14 level, and by 16 he was part of India’s Under-19 squad,” Shailaja had told this newspaper.
Wishes Pours for Washington Sundar
While fans and cricket pundits watched Washington’s splendid rearguard in utter disbelief, back in Chennai, Sundar wasn’t particularly surprised.
“People who have watched Washington in the IPL and T20s have the perception that he is an off-spinner who can bat a bit. But that’s not true. I always believe that he has tremendous potential as a batsman. In fact, I would say that he is 70 percent batsman,” Sundar says.
He recalls a WhatsApp video call he had with Washington on Saturday (at the end of Day 2) ,after he bagged a three-wicket haul. “The gist of my conversation with Washi was this: ‘Your job for this match is not done. There’s batting to be done now. This is a rare opportunity, so make sure you grab it,’” he recalls.
There were several sparkling shots during Washington’s combative knock. For Sundar, though, it was the no-look six against Lyon over the long-on boundary that stood out. “That was the shot of the day, no doubt about it.
Generally, a batsman tends to follow the ball’s trajectory, but in this case, the moment the ball hit the bat, you got the sense that he had connected it perfectly. Which is why he was so confident that he just didn’t feel the need to look at it.”