Youngster Washington Sundar has admitted that India's head coach Ravi Shastri narrates inspiring stories from his heydays to Indian players. The all-rounder also added that much like Shastri, he also wants to open in Test cricket for India one day and reckons that it will be a blessing.
Washington Sundar, who had not played red-ball cricket in years, was forced to play the Gabba Test against Australia after India suffered many injuries. And he not only played the game but made an important contribution with the bat in both the innings. The left-hander played crucial knocks and also picked up four wickets in the fourth and final Test. As a result of his remarkable performance, he has earned a call-up in India's Test side for the first two Tests against England at home, which commences from February 5 in Chennai.
The Indian all-rounder revealed that he wants to open for India in Tests just like India's head coach Ravi Shastri had done during his playing days. He also added that Shastri narrates a lot of motivational stories to the team.
"I think it will be a blessing for me if I ever get an opportunity to open the batting for India in Tests. I think I will accept the challenge just like our coach Ravi sir did during his playing days," Washington told PTI, reported TOI.
"Ravi sir tells us very inspiring stories from his playing days. Like how he made his debut as a specialist spinner, got four wickets and batted at number 10 against New Zealand on debut. And how from there, he became a Test opener and played all those great fast bowlers. I would love to open batting in Tests like him," he added.
Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar had combined in a key stand for India in the chase of 328 on day five of the Gabba Test. Reflecting on that, the 21-year-old said that with Pant in the middle, the pressure was on the Australians.
"I knew that with Pant on the other side, the bowlers will be very much under pressure. If we could quickly get 25 or 30, then we can pull off the target. In the first innings, Shardul batted really well during our partnership."
He also added that he looks up to senior players in the team as role models and they are always there to guide the younger players.
"As a youngster, when I look up for inspiration and motivation, I find so many role models in that dressing room. There is Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin who have been such great performers. You look up to these players and they are always ready to guide you," said the tall off-spinner.
Sundar, who was part of the T20I series, also stated that he tried to impart overspin when he had the red-cherry in hand given the bounce that Gabba was offering to the bowlers in the series-decider in Brisbane.
"Since the Australian pitches have a lot more pace and bounce, I had to impart a lot of overspin on my deliveries. In Australia, you can't be slow through the air and the main strategy was to bowl up and over. That gets you more pace off the wicket and that's what I concentrated on.
"Obviously, on the first day in Brisbane, the pitch wasn't doing a lot for spinners but it was like a dream come true to get Steve Smith as my first Test wicket," he said.