Washington Sundar, the talented Indian all-rounder, has set his sights on reaching new heights in his cricketing career. Since making his debut as a spin-bowling all-rounder for the national team in 2017, Sundar has shown immense passion and determination. While he initially made his mark in limited-overs cricket, the young cricketer now yearns for an opportunity to open the batting in Test matches and showcase his skills with the red ball.
Opening the batting in Test matches is undoubtedly one of the most challenging roles in cricket. It demands technical prowess, temperament, and endurance. As an opener, a player faces the new ball against potent fast bowlers on lively pitches. Their primary responsibility is to lay a solid foundation for their team's innings by seeing off the early threat and providing stability at the top of the order.
Sundar's potential role as an opener can bring much-needed stability to India's opening partnership. His ability to bat long periods while remaining composed under pressure can set the tone for the team's innings. Additionally, his all-around skills add another dimension to his value as an opener, providing flexibility in team selection and bolstering the lower middle order.
The longer format of Test cricket demands exceptional physical and mental endurance from its players. Opening batsmen must possess the stamina to spend long hours at the crease and fight through challenging periods. Sundar would need to adapt his game accordingly, focusing on building concentration and resilience to excel as a Test opener.
Within the Indian cricket team, there are already established opening batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. Sundar will face tough competition to secure a place as an opener in Test matches. However, healthy competition often brings out the best in players, and Sundar's determination will fuel his quest for this coveted spot.
While Washington Sundar's desire to open in Tests is understandable, it is crucial for team management to carefully consider how this move would impact the balance of skills within the playing XI. They must assess both individual capabilities and overall team dynamics before making any changes to the batting order.
Washington Sundar draws inspiration from former cricketer-turned-coach Ravi Shastri, whose motivational stories from his playing days have had a profound impact on Sundar's mindset and determination. Additionally, senior players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravichandran Ashwin serve as role models for the young all-rounder.
Sundar's contributions to India's historic win in Brisbane were significant. In the first innings, he scored a crucial 62 runs, defying the Australian bowlers and helping set up India's strong position. His performance was instrumental in the team's overall success and marked a turning point in his career.
Credit must be given to the coaching staff, including bowling coach Bharath Arun, for their meticulous planning and guidance that enabled Sundar to improve his game during India's tour of Australia. The ability to impart overspin on his deliveries proved successful on Australian pitches and showcased Sundar's growth as a cricketer.
Washington Sundar's aspiration to open the batting in Test matches reflects his determination and passion for the game. While he faces stiff competition from established opening batsmen, his skills, adaptability, and all-around capabilities make him a valuable asset to the Indian team. With continued hard work and opportunities, Sundar has a promising path ahead in achieving his goal of becoming an opener in Test cricket.