One of the most difficult jobs to do as a spinner in white-ball cricket- especially Twenty20 Internationals- is for a spinner (that too a finger spinner) to bowl in the powerplay. As if flat tracks, short boundaries, and big bats weren’t enough, bowling in the powerplay where field restrictions are in place possesses a unique challenge. The unique trend of opting to start with a spinner was a concept initiated by late Martin Crowe during the 1992 World Cup.
However, the concept was then championed by MS Dhoni who regularly bowled Ravichandran Ashwin in the first six overs both for CSK and Team India. In recent times, Tamil Nadu all-rounder has championed the art and has carved a unique niche for himself. The off-spinner has become a regular in the Indian T20I set-up where the captain usually uses him in the first six overs.
Bowling in the first six overs of a T20 game when the field restrictions are in place and the ball is hard and new, one has to be pretty consistent with his line and lengths. Sundar, in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo, opened up on the challenges that one faces as a spinner during the powerplay overs.
“It’s a difficult job to do in T20s. To hit the right length is very difficult and of course, errors will happen. It’s a tough job, but that’s something that excites me as well. It’s challenging to bowl to both right-handers and left-handers in the Powerplay and I have enjoyed it ever since I was given that role in T20s about two-three years back,” revealed Sundar on the challenges posed by bowling in powerplay overs.
‘I just want to work on my game and stay in the present’- Washington Sundar
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder had started as a batting all-rounder in his early days and he showed his ability with the bat in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy where he racked up more than 300 runs at an average of 50+, and Sundar is keen to contribute to his side in whichever he can.
“I just want to contribute to whatever opportunities I get and win games for the team. I consider myself as an improving allrounder only when I am able to win games for my team. That only will give a player confidence. So, wherever I may get an opportunity, I will have to do well with bat and ball,” said the 20-year-old.
Ravi Shastri had said a few days ago that we’ll get a clearer picture as far as India’s T20I squad is concerned for next years’ World Cup in Australia post the IPL. However, Sundar is not the one to fret about it. The off-spinner is focussed on staying in the present and is hoping to emulate his exploits in the upcoming series against the West Indies.
“I just want to stay in the present and not think too far ahead. Definitely, playing for India in a World Cup is a dream, but for now, I just want to work on my game and stay in the present.” Sundar added.
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