‘We were not surprised, knew about his capability’: Washington Sundar’s father on son’s Australia heroics

"I always tell him (Washington Sundar) that he is a special talent — a once in a century cricketer. He will become a fine all-rounder like Kapil Dev," says M Sundar.

“We were not surprised to be very honest. We know about Washi’s capability. Had Shardul continued batting, both of them would have scored centuries,” Washington Sundar’s father M Sundar told indianexpress.com after the player’s return from the historic Australia series.

Sundar, who became the 301st player to represent India in the longer format, had a memorable outing Down Under where he not only delivered with the ball but also stitched an incredible century stand with Shardul Thakur in Gabba Test to bring Indian back into the contest from the jaws of defeat to win the series 2-1.

While the excitement within the family was expected as they welcomed Washington back home, his father is more than happy to see his son after months. “He was in a bubble. We understand that these are part and parcel of a cricketer’s life but six months is a long period. We were a bit worried. Every day we used to have at least one and a half hours video call, Washington never skipped that. We just prayed that he be fine and we thank BCCI for taking care of all the players in such a good manner during a difficult phase,” said Sundar who once was a Ranji probable himself.

Highlights:

Reminiscing his son’s early days on the big stage, Sundar said Washington always performed well whenever an opportunity presented itself. “Washington is a blessed child. We call him Gnana Kuzhanthai (wise child). He started taking cricket seriously when he was five-years-old. Even if it were a tennis ball game, he would play that very seriously. I guess that has developed him as a cricketer. He is passionate about cricket more than anything else. We supported him trusting his ability,” said the left-handed batter’s father.

“Here in India, especially on the southern side, there is no sports culture as such. Parents want their children to focus more on academics. Getting 80 or 90 marks is more important for them, but for us, it was all about his interest. Washington studied hardly for an hour at home, his elder sister (Shailaja Sundar) used to teach and help him with his home works, etc.”

“After the U-19 World Cup, Washington prepared for his Class XII exam in two weeks and did well. Whenever he gets a chance, he has performs well, be it domestic or T20Is, or any format. He made his debut in IPL against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Imagine bowling to the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner at 17 years of age and that too the very first over in the game. His mental strength at that age was remarkable. It was all god’s blessings,” Sundar added

When asked if there are any superstitions that Washington or his family follows while their son is on-field, Sundar said they never believed in such things. “I don’t believe in all those things and even Washington doesn’t follow such beliefs. We believe in god, and that’s about it. Washington is now playing all three formats, and we are happy about it. I always tell him that he is a special talent — a once in a century cricketer. He will become a fine all-rounder like Kapil Dev,” he added.

The off-spinner on his debut game at the Gabba picked three wickets including the prized scalp of Steve Smith. Thereafter, he stitched a fantastic century stand with Shardul Thakur when India was reeling at 186/6.

Washington’s dreamy run continued in the second innings as well when he scored a quick-fire knock of 22 to help his ‘injury-ravaged’ team cross over the ropes and register a historic Test series win.

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