Will carry forward confidence gained playing Test cricket in IPL: RCB spinner Washington Sundar

By ANI
NEW DELHI: Bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar has impressed one and all with his performances in the last few months. Be it with the ball in hand or the bat, the youngster has made match-winning contributions.

After a good time with the national team — starting with his Test debut against Australia at the Gabba — Sundar is now looking to make it count for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

In an interaction with ANI, Washington opened up about his bond with skipper Virat Kohli, his hopes from the RCB unit in the 14th edition of the IPL, and why he chose to name his pet ‘Gabba’.

“I think Virat has been helping me a lot on different occasions. The fact that I have been playing closely with him for the last 4-5 years has done wonders for me. I can see him closely and see how he goes about different scenarios both on and off the field, what he does to be what he is right now, so many things I have learnt from him over the years, that has definitely helped me become a better cricketer,” said Sundar.

“The fact that I got to play with him, someone of his stature could help you out in different phases of life, it definitely gets the best out of any cricketer. The last four months have been good for me and I hope I have a better season going ahead. It takes a lot for a captain to throw the ball to a finger spinner especially in the first six overs. I think I really need to be thankful to the captain, getting success from such a situation has made me a better cricketer and also it has given me a lot of confidence. In that sense, Virat has really helped me and it has also helped me to evolve as a T20 bowler. I have been loving the challenge of bowling in the first six overs,” he added.

Sundar has always had talent with the bat and this year, he set the international stage on fire after his 50+ scores in the Tests against Australia and England.

“I think I have always wanted to be a batsman who the team would love to have on the field. I would also get a lot of opportunities and in that case, I can win games for the team as well. Wherever the team wants me to bat, I am ready to bat there, that is the kind of cricketer I want to be,” said the 21-year-old.

RCB is yet to win an IPL title but the side has got off to an excellent start this season after recording wins in its first three matches. The addition of Glenn Maxwell has done wonders for the side and add to this, the consistency of the ever-reliant AB de Villiers.

“I think we have started really well in the first three games, the way we have played, we have dominated in every game and definitely we have a well-balanced side this year. All that matters is how we turn up on the field and how we react to different situations. There is a reason for Maxwell going for so much money, I think he will definitely help RCB win a lot of games this year. The way he has turned up for RCB this year has been amazing, all three games he has been successful with the bat. We are very confident of him winning a lot of games for RCB. I think the side has found the right man to help RCB win a lot of games,” said Sundar.

“Ab de Villiers is a freak, to be honest. You cannot really learn a lot of things from the way he bats because he just does everything his way. I think, one thing I could say I have learnt from him over the years is the fact that how he stays calm. He knows how much people expect from him, he has been doing really well for RCB over many years,” he added.

Talking about why he named his pet ‘Gabba’, Sundar said: “Gabba Test was a pure dream come true moment for me. I bought a dog, as a family we were looking out for a name for him and we thought Gabba would relate to him a lot because as I said Gabba was a dream come true. Playing my first Test there was really special and everything about that Test series was amazing for me. There are a lot of reasons for me to name my dog Gabba.”

On Tuesday, global sports brand PUMA signed a long-term partnership deal with Sundar and Devdutt Padikkal. As a result, the duo joins PUMA’s impressive roaster of cricketers that include Indian captain Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul. Commenting on the association, Sundar said: “It definitely feels great to be on the same brand with some of the superstars in different sports. Definitely, I believe that I would be able to take the legacy forward as they have in the past. I think it adds a lot of value, more than anything, it brings out the best of ourselves.”¬†