Washington Sundar deserved a hundred after the India all-rounder ran out of partners before remaining unbeaten on 85 in their first innings reckoned former legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar. Washington Sundar, playing his second Test only, showed excellent application against spin and pace, according to the batting great.
Former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar heaped rich praise on Washington Sundar, saying the young all-rounder has the very good temperament to go with very good basics.
Washington Sundar Played Some Fabulous Shots: Sunil Gavaskar
Washington Sundar, who made an unlikely debut in India’s memorable win at the Gabba, had shown grit and determination in helping the team recover from 186 for 6 by stitching a 124-run stand with Shardul Thakur. He hit a crucial 62 and followed up with a quickfire 22 in the historic 336-run chase in Brisbane.
He was at his elements again in his first home Test as Washington Sundar stitched a crucial 80-run stand for the 7th wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin. He mixed caution with aggression wonderfully but missed out on his maiden Test hundred by 15 runs as he ran out of partners before India were bowled out for 337.
“He and Ravichandran Ashwin, that partnership of 80-plus got India back in them. If they had dismissed for not too many, then England would have had a lead of 341 instead of 241. Then they would have declared after giving their bowlers enough overs to recover. Those things would have come into play,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports.
“Look at the way Washington Sundar batted. Some of the shots he played were fabulous. That lofted shot of James Anderson for a six and then the shot against Joe Root as well. A well-deserved half-century, he deserved a 100 but unfortunately, batting at No. 7 you don’t get a lot of hundreds. That 85 not out is as good as a hundred,” he added.
Sunil Gavaskar’s comments came after Washington Sundar came up with another fighting knock, hitting an unbeaten 85 to help India out of big trouble in the first innings of the 1st Test against England in Chennai.
Sunil Gavaskar said he was extremely impressed not just by the shots that Washington Sundar played but his ability to defend well against the likes of James Anderson and Jofra Archer and the England spinners. The reputed commentator pointed out that Washington Sundar was at ease when defending off the front and back foot against the turn on Day 3 Chepauk wicket.
Sunil Gavaskar: Washington Sundar Recognized Threat Of Both Pacers James Anderson And Jofra Archer
Elaborating further, Sunil Gavaskar shed light on how well Washington Sundar batted against both spin and pace on a Chepauk pitch that started to do things when England took the 2nd new ball on Monday.
“He recognized the threat of Anderson and Archer. Different bowlers, Anderson gets the ball to move, Archer is quick. So, I think he had to be a little more cautious. What was more impressive is his technique than the shots he played.”
“Often it’s the way you defend a good ball that tells how good a player you are and the way he was defending those deliveries against Anderson, Archer and against the turn as well, the way he was playing the backfoot defence shows he has got the basics right. Basics added to very good temperament makes a very good player. I think he is a very good player,” Gavaskar added.
Washington Sundar’s effort ensured India reduced England’s first-innings lead down to 241. Earlier on Sunday, India’s top-order stars failed with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, and Virat Kohli getting out cheaply but Rishabh Pant (91) and Cheteshwar Pujara (73) stitched a 119-run stand to steer the team out of trouble.
James Anderson and Jofra Archer picked 2 wickets apiece but spinner Dom Bess was most successful picking 4 scalps. England scored only 178 in the 2nd essay as Ravichandran Ashwin picked 6 scalps. India are chasing a 420 run target but have lost Rohit Sharma cheaply for 12 off Jack Leach.