Twenty20 cricket is loaded in favour of batsmen and bowlers need to evolve. At the beginning of last season, Washington Sundar worked on something that would enhance his bowling.
“I wanted to increase the revs I impart on the ball without decreasing my speed,” he revealed to Sportstar here on Thursday. This involved endless hours of practice. Washington’s logic was simple. He did not want to decrease the speed of the delivery which would enable the batsmen to get under the ball for the big hits.
“Speed is my strength. I wanted to bowl at around 92-93 kmph and then get the ball to dip on the batsman because of the revs. He would be surprised.”
Just 20, the off-spinning all-rounder has already figured in 23 T20 Internationals, scalping 19 at a creditable economy rate of 6.93. And he has bowled in difficult stages of the innings.
“I try to read the batsman, get into his mind,” Washington said. He is someone who varies his speed, alters his angles. He is tall, achieves natural bounce. Yet, Washington can get the ball to skid off the surface.
And he has been guided by India coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach B. Arun. “After every match we discuss. What I had done right, and more importantly, where I could have been better. Shastri sir and Arun sir have been a big help to me,” he said.
Here Washington recalls two dismissals he had planned with Arun. “I was bowling to Evin Lewis. Generally I get the ball to skid into him.
“For this game in Thiruvanathapuram, Arun sir asked me to bowl round the wicket to that explosive left-hander Lewis and spin the ball away from him. I did just that, he jumped out and was stumped. The plan worked.”
Washington added, “Then, in New Zealand, Arun sir asked me to bowl over the wicket to the left-handed Colin Munro, cramp him for room and attack the stumps. Munro was bowled.”
A fluent, natural southpaw with loads of time and a compelling range of shots - he averages 31.29 in first class cricket - Washington wants to do justice to his batting ability. The team-management has faith in his batting and he is monitored at the nets.
Washington is looking at the World Twenty20 with optimism but wants to take one game at a time.