Rising Pune Supergiant replaced Ravichandran Ashwin with Tamil Nadu all-rounder Washington Sundar for the 2017 IPL campaign. The rising star geared up to fill the void of the legend in the team.
Sundar, who is a left-arm batsman and a right-arm spinner, was picked up following a trial by the franchise a few days ago after Ashwin was ruled out of IPL 10 to fill the vacant position in the Pune team.
“I am very happy to be picked to replace Ashwin, who is a legend. I’m also excited to get the opportunity to be part of the IPL. I don’t have any expectations going into the tournament. I will have to be ready if I get a chance to play,” Sundar said.
The 17-year-old all-rounder is a top order batsman; he started bowling on the advice of legendary Indian batsman and U-19 team coach Rahul Dravid. Sundar played a key role for his state team Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy victories this season.
Sundar was given priority over experienced Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parvez Rasool in the trials. He has variations and bowled out RPS captain Steve Smith and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and IPL’s highest-paid foreign player Ben Stokes at the net.
Having dismissed Smith in the nets, Sundar said, “It felt good to dismiss Smith and keep things tidy against the aggressive Stokes.
“I bowled to Dhoni for a long time in the nets. He gave me some tips and appreciated me on occasions.”
Sundar is confident about getting a chance in the RPS spin department which includes Imran Tahir, Adam Zampa, Ankit Sharma and his Tamil Nadu teammate Baba Aparajith.
Sundar was a key member of the Indian U-19 team in the ICC youth world cup in Bangladesh last year, said Tamil Nadu coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar. Kanitkar is also one of the assistant coaches with the RPS outfit, had a calming influence on him and the squad.
“Kanitkar sir is very calm and supportive and has played a big role in Tamil Nadu’s performances in the 2016-17 season. The bowling and fielding have been crucial to the success while Dinesh Karthik was the standout performer with the bat,” said Sundar.
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