Pune: Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard all back in the hut courtesy Washington Sundar. He went for eight in one over, followed it up with two big ticket wickets in the next and finished off on a high with the priced ticket of Kieron Pollard.
The moment he got Rohit Sharma LBW, Steve Smith roared, when he came back to pick Rayudu and Pollard, Smith was a picture of elation.
“What an unbelievable performance by a young seventeen year old on the big stage,’’ Smith exclaimed as he took up the microphone to interview young Sundar.
“I throw him the ball in the first six overs when the batsmen are going after him and he takes three. At times I feel what he looks to do there and what his plans are Sundar was all smiles and thanked his captain for the support.”
“It feels really good, especially to have taken key members of their side on such a big occasion in front of a packed crowd. I think Smith has been really supportive and I would like to thank him for it. Him giving me an opportunity to play ten games in my first edition for an off-spinner, I don’t think any other team would have been willing to do that. I would like to thank him a lot.”
What was enriching to hear was Sundar’s eagerness to take the challenge head on and relish it when some of the top guns in world cricket would be egging themselves to go after the youngster.
“I love the challenge of bowling in the powerplay having only two fielders out side the circle,” he says.
“I have been believing in my strengths and hopefully I will be doing the same thing in Hyderabad and we will be able to lift the trophy together.”
Smith shared the same views and wanted to see himself lift the trophy along with the youngster in Hyderabad. Most importantly he was happy to see Sundar deliver on the big stage.
“Getting three big wickets on the big stage was no mean feat, and Smith hoped for a similar show come the grand finale. I am very proud to have big names in my pocked tonight,” Sundar added.
“To have those three, especially in a game like qualifier one is a proud moment for me. It was a very heartening performance.”
Out of the three scalps, Smith had a part to play in two of those taking two unbelievable catches at mid-wicket.
Sundar credited his captain for those two game-changing catches. “It was a really smart move by him. Usually, bowling in the first six overs, a lot of mid-wicket fielders will stand a little behind.
But Smith was in there for a catch and couple of catches came his way. I would say, well taken skipper,” chuckled Sundar.
On a parting note, Smith was delighted to see the youngster bowl the way he has throughout the tournament. He wished for a repeat in Hyderabad in the final.
“I am proud of Sundar and it was great watching him bowl so well. Hopefully, we can see one more big game in the final and lift that trophy.”