Colombo: Washington Sundar has been phenomenal in the powerplay during the ongoing Nidahas Trophy Tri-series and the young-off spinner said he is fortunate to have the skill set to bowl during this crucial period of the game.
The 18-year-old lanky spinner has come of age in this tournament and is the most penetrative bowler on display with seven wickets to his kitty, including three against Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Besides, Sundar is the most economical bowler in the tournament with an impressive economy rate of 5.87 runs an over — surprisingly 11 of his 16 overs have been bowled in the powerplay.
While Sundar admitted that it is a challenge for a spinner to bowl in the powerplay, but the key to success is to face those challenges and overcome them.
"It is definitely a challenging thing but that is what you play cricket for. When you get an opportunity to represent your country you need to face those challenges. When you win those challenges you get a lot of satisfaction," he said.
"I have to admit that I am very fortunate I have got this skill. It's more of reading the batsman's mind, especially in the powerplays because every six balls, they will be looking to hit you out. So it's important to read the mind.
"Being a batsman myself, I can at least suspect what he is thinking or where he is going to hit me," Sundar said at the post-match press conference last night after India beat Bangladesh by 17 runs to seal their place in Sunday's final.
Asked about the mantra behind his success while bowling in the powerplay periods, Sundar said: "I play a lot of league games back home. A couple of years ago, we played a tournament. I used to bowl two overs in the powerplay and two overs in the death overs which was difficult. These things helped me to get better as a cricketer."
Sundar accounted for the wickets of Tamim Iqbal (27), Liton Das (7) and Soumya Sarkar (1) to wreck Bangladesh's top order on Wednesday. Besides, Yuzvendra Chahal also shone bright with the ball with figures of 4-0-21-1 as the two Indian spinners made merry.
"It's a very good feeling when you bowl under 6 every day," Sundar said.
"It was very important for me and Chahal to bowl well. Our 8 overs were very important. Chahal and my four overs were very crucial and both us bowled well.
"It is not an easy wicket to defend any kind of totals. You saw them (Bangladesh) chasing down 215 odd runs. So we had our plans," he added.
The cricketing world might be moving fast toward wrist-spinners, especially in white-ball cricket, but Sundar feels off-spinners have always been effective in all forms of the game.
"If you see over the years off-spinners have always been effective in all formats. It's an important skill, as good as wrist spin. It's all about reading the wicket, having good skills, it's all about improving every day. It's important to keep working hard no matter what skill you have," he said.
Sundar feels India will win the Nidahas Trophy if they play to their potential on Sunday.
"If we could play to our potential, if we could play to our strength, if we could have another good day definitely we will win the tournament," he signed off.