Former Indian head coach, Ravi Shastri reckons Washington Sundar is the future all-rounder of the Indian team in all formats. On Sunday, BCCI announced India’s squads for the five-match T20I series against South Africa and the rescheduled final Test against England in July. Sundar wasn’t included in either of the two squads led by KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma respectively.
Washington Sundar was initially part of the Test squad last year but a finger injury ruled him out of the five-match series against England. Sundar made his Test debut in India’s historic Test triumph against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane, Ravi Shastri was the head coach of the Indian team during that point. Sundar could play just three more matches after his debut as he missed the four Tests against England and didn’t play in the home Tests against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Washington Sundar played nine matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2022 and claimed six wickets and 101 runs, while the Orange Army finished eighth in the group stage table with 12 points. Ravi Shastri called Sundar the premier all-rounder of the Indian team and believes the 22-year-old will succeed Ravindra Jadeja in that role in the future.
During a recent interaction with ESPNCricinfo, Ravi Shastri said, “He is going to be one of India’s leading all-rounders. He is the future. You have [Ravindra] Jadeja today. Three years down the line, if Jadeja is still fit, he will play. There is Axar [Patel] around. But this guy is your premier all-rounder across all three formats of the game. Hear what I am saying. Three formats of the game.”
Elaborating the same, Ravi Shastri said, “This guy is a serious cricketer. He is still very young, he has got to understand his own game, how good a player he is. Shot selection will come, especially for the white-ball format. [If he] works on his fitness so that he is not injury-prone, India have got a serious cricketer in him. Across all formats of the game.”
He concluded, “I think it is up to him really to do the hard yards on fitness. No excuse. He can’t depend on X, Y, Z. He has to look at himself in the mirror and say I want to work hard and I want to be the leading all-rounder in Indian cricket over the next three years. And he can do it. Easy.”
Washington Sundar played a decent 62 against Australia on his Test debut and was involved in a 123-run alliance with Shardul Thakur as the duo resurrected India’s first innings. He also claimed Australia’s star batter, Steve Smith, as his maiden dismissal in Test cricket.