After making a quiet return to First-Class cricket in the Duleep Trophy, Washington Sundar has now set his eyes on rebuilding his red-ball career.
After a gap of six months, Washington got an opportunity to test his skills in the red-ball format during South Zone’s Duleep Trophy semifinals against North Zone last week.
It was not a booming return as he bowled a total of 11 overs for one wicket and scored 14 runs. The figures look underwhelming on paper but Washington saw a streak of light in them, something that he believed will spur his future journey.
“Duleep Trophy is very important because if we perform here it will give us a lot of confidence and belief in our skills.
“When I play more red-ball games the more experienced I will get. I will learn a lot more things. I hope I will get to play County cricket and that will help me grow better,” said Washington on Tuesday ahead of the Duleep Trophy final against West Zone.
At 23, Washington has seen his share of injuries in the last couple of years. The latest setback came during IPL 2023 when he was ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring niggle.
Washington made his comeback to competitive cricket through the ongoing Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) while donning the jersey of Madurai Panthers.
“It is good to have games like this (Duleep Trophy) early in the season as I would like to play as many matches as possible. Of course, it is good for me that I don’t have to go through any rehab right now,” Washington said with a wry smile after completing his training at the KSCA (B) grounds.
However, it could have been immensely frustrating for an aspiring cricketer to see his game time getting stymied so frequently. But the Tamil Nadu youngster said the challenges have made him mentally strong.
“Mentally it is very challenging. I do everything possible to strengthen muscles, for the injuries to heal as quickly as possible.
“People are going to go through challenges every single day, and it is the same in a cricketer’s life as well. So, I just need to find a way to come through it. I just try to be in the present. I ensure that my work ethics and work routine remain unaffected,” said the off-spinner.
Washington wore the India jersey after almost a one-year hiatus earlier in 2023 in the white-ball series against New Zealand. The all-rounder hoped that more matches were in the pipeline.
“I need to get better and perform wherever I get an opportunity. It is the only thing I should be thinking about. Every single day when I wake up I should ensure that I do my routine and ethics well to remain on top of my game,” he said.
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