India’s southpaw pacer Jaydev Unadkat reckons that the performance of Washington Sundar in the first six of powerplay has helped contain batsmen against Bangladesh and that will also play a crucial role in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series.
Unadkat bowled a career-best spell of 3/38 in the six-wicket win over Bangladesh on Thursday, underlining his skill in T20 cricket that fetched him ₹11.5 crore from Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League auction. In the first game defeat against Sri Lanka, the hosts were 75/2 after six overs, but Bangladesh was struggling at 44 for 2 in that powerplay phase at the R Premadasa Stadium in the second game.
During the press conference ahead of the Monday’s game against Sri Lanka, Jaydev said, “What benefits us is the way Sundar can contain the batsman. As an off-spinner, it is difficult at times. What stands out for me is his variation of pace. He keeps it simple. When a bowler is containing from one end in the powerplay, the batsmen to come under pressure and make a mistake.”
Sundar bowled in the powerplay overs in both games of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series games, against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Against the hosts, Sundar had mixed fortunes, taking the wicket of Kusal Mendis in the powerplay but getting hit for two sixes by Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Perera.
Against Bangladesh, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner bowled with accuracy and conceded just nine runs in his first two overs. His economy rate of 6.37 is the lowest among all bowlers in this tournament.
Unadkat, who has enjoyed success in the Twenty20 format since the 2017 IPL, stressed on variations to be successful. He said, “Variations are the most important part in this format. If the batsman is expecting us to do something and we come out different, then we have achieved success. Variations are deceptive only if it is not pre-meditated and the batsmen do not expect it all the time.”
Also read: Sundar Receives The ‘Young Achiever Award’
Bangladesh managed to chase down a record total against Sri Lanka on Saturday to throw open the tournament. Mushfiqur Rahim’s 72 not out off 35 balls helped Bangladesh chase down 215, the fourth-highest successful T20 chase. Each team has a win and loss each with a game left.
Talking about that win, Unadkat said, “The tournament is wide open and that allows us to play good cricket. It will keep us on our feet. For us, all the games are crucial. The tournament is important to express ourselves.”