Kanitkar: 'Washington looked comfortable on debut'

It has been a rapid rise for the Tamil Nadu player — he is the seventh youngest to play for India in ODIs.

India's Washington Sundar (left) celebrates his first ODI wicket with captain Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey on Wednesday.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Within nine months of making his List A debut for Tamil Nadu, Washington Sundar capped up a strong year making his international debut on Wednesday at Mohali in the second India vs Sri Lanka ODI after impressive performances in IPL propelled him onto the big stage. 

M. Senthilanathan, the head coach at MRF Pace foundation, has played a crucial role in Washington’s career said, “He started well and on a flat track his figures of one for 55 is very impressive. 

“I spoke to him before he joined the side in Dharamsala. The only thing I said was to stick to what he has been doing that has got him here and avoid trying something new.” 

READ: Sharma double flattens Lanka, levels series 1-1

Washington’s father, M. Sundar was undoubtedly an elated man. “It is a big day for us and I am extremely proud and happy today. I am grateful to the almighty and also would like to thank a lot of former Tamil Nadu cricketers who have always chipped in with their inputs.” 

Tamil Nadu's coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who suggested Washington’s name to Rising Pune Supergiant earlier this year, said, “He looked very comfortable today. Though he went for some runs later, it will actually help him learn more. He will learn quickly from the coaches present.”

Though it has been a rapid rise — he is the seventh youngest to play for India in ODIs —both his father and Senthilnathan very unanimous in the view that this was only the first step in what promises to be a long career. Senthilnathan added, “He is a hard working kid and I want him to enjoy this day but also start working even harder and give more than 100 per cent.”