Outsmarting batsmen is Sundar's way to success

RCB off-spinner has earned enough attention in his short career

Outsmarting batsmen is Sundar's way to success

Washington Sundar has made one of the toughest challenges for a bowler look easy. Operating in Power Play, be it for spinners or pacers, requires not just smartness but courage as well. A slight margin of error or too many experiments can lead to disaster. Sundar seems to have found a way to remain on top of the batsmen in the crucial phase of the game.  

The off-spinner, who was a revelation in the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy, has caught everyone's attention with his shrewd bowling. Sundar's wicket tally of eight from five games looks just decent but it's the economy rate that reveals the true story. With 5.87 runs per over, the Tamil Nadu bowler was the most parsimonious bowler of the series and to have achieved that over 13 Power Play overs, giving away 78 runs, is a testimony to  Sundar's skills.  

The Royal Challengers Bangalore, who picked up Sundar for Rs 3.3 crore in the January auction, forms a mouth-watering spin combination with the experienced leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. There is a lot riding on Sundar but the 18-year-old isn't affected by the expectations ahead of the Indian Premier League. Being unpredictable has worked in his favour, felt Sundar.  

"It's important to be not predictable. When an off-spinner is bowling, as a batsman, you know that most of his deliveries are going to come at around 100 kmph. It's important to bluff the batsman at times, and you need to ensure that the ball lands in the right spot. Flighting the ball in this format (T20s) is very difficult so when you're trying it, you should be absolutely sure of being able to execute it. That's what I try to do and that's how we practice too," Sundar said on the sidelines of RCB's practice here at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Tuesday.

Reading the batsman's intent has been the key to Sundar's success. "It's important to be a bit proactive, to try and get a one-up against the batsmen. You need to predict what he is trying to do and where he could be trying to hit you in your delivery. I always try to win the battle by reading his mind. So far I think I have been doing this marginally well," he explained.  

Like many upcoming talents, Sundar said he is excited to play under India captain Virat Kohli. "A lot of people have been inspired by Virat Kohli so it's a very good opportunity to learn from him and get better as a cricketer. It'll be nice for me to play under him and see how he approaches a lot of things.  I just want to enjoy this IPL and especially playing in Bangalore means a lot to me.  It is a challenge  to bowl on a ground like M Chinnaswamy  but I am excited about it."

There isn't a standout delivery in Sundar's armoury but the youngster asserted that he is happy to stick to his strengths. "Definitely, when you have a mystery ball, you have an advantage. When you don't have that you have to stick to your strengths and believe that you can perform in crunch situations. I haven't looked at too many options because I don't think I need to at this stage of my career. If I can be successful with just these things then I can just continue doing that for a long time," he offered.  

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