Will Washington Sundar become India's mainstay all-rounder? Key stats
Washington Sundar smashed his maiden ODI fifty in the third and final match of the series against New Zealand. The southpaw played a much-needed knock as India suffered a top-order collapse in the contest. Sundar, who reached his fifty off 62 balls, ended up scoring a 64-ball 51 (4s: 5, 6s: 1). Is Sundar the all-rounder India have been searching for in white-ball cricket?
Why does this story matter?
- New Zealand won the toss and elected to field at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
- As the hosts boast an unassailable 1-0 lead, India can tie the series 1-1 with a win.
- India were struggling at 121/5 when Sundar arrived in the middle.
- Though wickets kept tumbling at the other end, the left-handed batter played valiantly and brought up a fine fifty.
A look at Sundar's List A numbers
Meanwhile, this was Sundar's second fifty in List A cricket. He now has 750 runs in 58 games at a 22-plus average. The off-spinner has also scalped 50 wickets at 43.7. In ODIs, Sundar has eight wickets in nine games so far.
Impressive all-round numbers across formats
Sundar has scored 265 runs in four Tests at 66.25. With the ball, he has scalped six wickets. In ODIs, the southpaw has slammed 145 runs at 48.33 (SR: 93.55). The off-spinner also has eight wickets under his belt. Sundar hasn't batted much in T20Is as he has just 47 runs in 32 games. However, he has scalped 26 wickets at 29.77.
Sundar has made his chances count
Meanwhile, Sundar has been making his chances count with the bat in India colors. He played a memorable 62-run knock on his Test debut against Australia in Brisbane last year. In the subsequent Test series against England, he played unbeaten knocks of 85 and 96. Even in the opener of the ongoing series, the southpaw scored an unbeaten 16-ball 37.
Sensational in the powerplay
Sundar has been highly economical in the powerplay overs. He concedes runs at 6.82 in the first six overs in T20Is. The 23-year-old has scalped 12 wickets in 23 innings in this phase. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Sundar has 12 powerplay wickets in 32 innings with his economy being 7.28. Notably, there aren't many spinners around who enjoy operating in powerplay overs.
Can Sundar bat in top six across formats?
Sundar certainly understands how to operate with the tail-enders. He has proven the same time and again. Moreover, he can play different roles as per the situation. While Sundar played a quickfire 37 in the series opener, he returned with a valuable fifty in the decider. Hence, the Indian team management has many reasons to slot him in the top six across formats.
He can be groomed for ODI World Cup 2023
With the ODI World Cup being just a year away, India must invest in Sundar and give him in the long run. As Sundar can complete his quota of overs on most days, he can be played as a proper bowler too. The same would add to India's batting depth. Notably, Ravichandran Ashwin is the only other frontline off-spinner around India's white-ball teams currently.
Axar Patel vs Washington Sundar
Another player who provides similar attributes to Sundar is Axar Patel. The latter has 39, 53, and 34 wickets in six Tests, 44 ODIs, and 37 T20Is, respectively. He averages 24.62 and 17.06 with the bat in Tests and ODIs, respectively. Axar also has a fifty apiece in both formats. Though these numbers are impressive, Axar's batting returns aren't as consistent as Sundar's.
The Ravindra Jadeja factor
Another factor that falls in Sundar's favor is the presence of Ravindra Jadeja. As Axar is also a left-arm spinner, he is unlikely to play when Jadeja is available. However, that is not the case with Sundar, who is a right-arm off-spinner.
How did India's innings pan out?
New Zealand bowlers jeopardized the Indians in the 3rd ODI at the Hagley Oval. Adam Milne and Daryl Mitchell shared six wickets as India were bundled out for 219. The Men in Blue suffered a batting collapse after a slow start. Sundar finished as their top-scorer, having slammed his maiden ODI fifty. Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer smashed a valuable 49 in the middle overs.