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Washington Sundar: reigniting the art of conventional offspin

Washington Sundar: reigniting the art of conventional offspin

17-year-old Washington Sundar debuted this season in the IPL and took the cricketing world by surprise. He sent back 3 of Mumbai’s most dangerous batsmen back to the pavilion in the first qualifier. He caught Rohit Sharma leg before wicket and also sent back the in-form Pollard and Rayudu all within a score of 10. None of the game forecasts could have expected this from the young lad.

Being the second spinning option in the team after the departure of Imran Tahir, Washington got a chance to showcase his talent at the playoffs and did not disappoint. Tahir had been spectacular with the Supergiants helping them to attain second position in the league. He took 18 wickets in 12 matches for the RPS. He for most of the matches overshadowed Washington’s performance who managed just 7 wickets off 9 matches. Pune was seemingly in a spinner crisis after Tahir left for international duty. Zampa and Washington had taken turns in the team but were not fully successful before the playoffs.

Washington made full use of the opportunity that arrived in the playoffs. “For a 17-year-old to come out and perform against some quality players is outstanding. The young guys have been a real big part of our success throughout this tournament,” Smith had said.

This youngster from Tamil Nadu has hardly any variations in his bowling as visible from his performances. He has perfected the rarely seen orthodox off spin in the modern cricket. His style of bowling can set some landmarks in the future if he continues to impress this way as stated by some experts. Sanjay Manjrekar in his tweet mentioned, “No mystery ball, no doosra, no carrom ball, just pure off spin brilliance from Washington Sundar with the new ball.” This personifies his mastery of the art of off spin at a tender age of 17.

For the final match he played a complementary role with the other Pune bowlers. Though he could not take any wickets he was able to maintain an economy rate of 3.25 which is exceptional when considering a T20 match. He created enough pressure for the batsmen to take risk in the others that Unadkat and Zampa bowling with him were able to grab a couple of wickets.

Washington has not played in any T20 league before this and has appeared in only five first class games for his state. With his credentials it was a courageous decision from the RPS selectors to give such a youngster a chance in the first team. He is definitely one of the greatest finds of this year’s IPL. The performance he has shown in his first season can only make a path for what next he has to offer. His bowling will be recognised soon by the BCCI selectors if he continues to stay in such form.

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