Washington Sundar was handed an unexpected Test debut on Friday against Australia in Brisbane and got the all-important wicket of Steve Smith to mark the occasion.
India’s T20 specialist off-spinner was asked to stay back by the team management after the white-ball series to help as a net bowler but injuries to key players, including senior pro Ashwin Ravichandran, meant he was playing his first Test.
“I have always felt that my skills are very good with red ball. I have bowled a lot of overs in first class cricket and first division league in Chennai as well. I was just waiting for this opportunity and last couple of months, we were here, I did get to bowl a lot of overs and improve upon my skills,” the bowler said at the end of the first day’s play.
“Like any bowler, I love bowling a lot of overs. It’s just so much fun to bowl a lot of overs. Give me 20, 30, 40 or 50 overs. We had some plans going for Steve Smith and (Marnus) Labuschagne and I am very glad they worked. The first wicket definitely felt good,” he said in answer.
Washington kept Smith quiet for two overs and in the 13th delivery got him caught at short mid-wicket.
His father named him Washington after his own mentor, who used to buy books, uniform for him and no wonder the 21-year-old is filled with gratitude for his family and their sacrifices.
“The last 24 hours have been amazing for me. The team management asked me to be ready to play. I think I should dedicate this to my family as they sacrificed a lot.