He was signed only hours before his first match for Pune. Washington Sundar has become a revelation in the team.
The 17-year-old is the go-to man for wickets. Coming as a replacement for Ravichandran Ashwin, Sundar has big shoes to fill and fill it he did it with ease.
His best performance came for Rising Pune Supergiant against Mumbai when he dismissed three big hitters and was eventually picked for the man of the match award.
Here are some lesser known facts about the teenage sensation:
* Sundar was born in Chennai on 5 October 1999. He started playing cricket at the age of 11 in the second division league in Chennai.
* Washington belongs to a cricket-playing family. His father was his first coach. He was a cricketer himself who made it to the Ranji probable list but never to the main squad. Sister M S Shelaja has also played cricket.
* At age 13, Sundar trained at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai and impressed many, including coach M Senthilnathan, by his ability to handle quality bowling at such a young age. He was immediately drafted into first division cricket which boasts of great standards in Tamilnadu.
* In 2014, Sundar was included in the India Under-19 team at the age of 15. He made crucial contributions with his spin bowling in India’s Under- 19’s journey in the World Cup 2016 where they reached the finals.
* With his amazing performances at the Under-19 level, Sunder made a first-class debut for Tamilnadu in October 2016. Batting as an opener, he scored a solid 40 in the second innings but didn’t get a chance to bowl. In the nine List A matches that he had played that season, Sundar scored 85 runs and took seven wickets.
* Sundar was picked up by Albert TUTI Patriots to take part in the inaugural edition of the Tamilnadu Premier League in 2016. He impressed with his bowling in the tournament, ending with 11 wickets in 9 games at an average of 12 and an economy rate of 5.54.
* A top order batsman, Sundar began giving more importance to bowling on the advice of Indian Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid. He was also a part of the Tamilnadu team that won the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy of 2017. He played total 9 games in both the tournaments and ended with an economy rate of 3.93 which was outstanding.
* Bowling in the nets, the teen castled Supergiant captain Steve Smith, after which he was given a chance in the team. His competitor in the nets was Parvez Rasool, who plays for Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian team. Despite being less experienced than Rasool, Sundar was given a chance in the team and became the third youngest IPL debutant.
* Sundar had bowled 14 of his 22 overs inside the Powerplay in the league stage. Among other spinners, only KKR’s Sunil Narine – with variations and experience at his disposal – had done it more often.
* Sundar gives a lot of credit to M Venkataramana, his coach at the National Cricket Academy and Tamilnadu Cricket Association. When Sun