“If you believe in anything, you must be prepared to die for it. Message from Mr. Sundar in his WhatsApp status.
Washington’s father Sundar, a versatile player who was part of the Tamil Nadu squad in the 90s, is his inspiration.
“He’s been through so much in life and he’s so tough he’s shown me the right path,” said the 21-year-old rising star. Sports star the Saturday.
Washington’s performance in the Gabba Test epic is heroic. Three wickets in the opening innings, including Steve Smith, a fluent 62 when India was in the dumps in the opening innings, sacking David Warner and unlucky not to fire Smith in the second inning, and his game change 22 the last day.
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Recalling the decisive moment of Matchday 5 at Gabba, Washington said: “It was a tense day and I watched every ball and at that point I thought if India hit 98 overs for a draw would be huge.
Then India lost counters. “I had my pads and Ajinkya [Rahane] and Rohit [Sharma] started to tease me.
And then it got into the cauldron that Gabba was with India still needing over 60 and the overs were running out.
Washington took us to the heart of the battle when he and Rishabh Pant met for a mid-term conversation.
Sundar spends his time at home in Chennai on his return while enjoying a memorable test no. 301. – SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
“’Who do you think will play next time,’ Pant asked. “Cummins” responded Washington. Then Pant said, “But he’s already played so many over in that spell,” Washington recalled.
The decision to win was “taken instinctively,” Washington said. “There were over 50 points to go and I thought if we could get 25-30 points quickly then Australia would be under pressure and the rest of the points would go easily.
It was really the genesis of India that violated the Gabba fortress.
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Southpaw Washington has decided to counterattack Cummins, Australia’s most powerful weapon. “I knew Cummins would be playing with two bouncers and the rest of the deliveries would be short.”
Cummins landed a short one and Washington, light on his feet and quick with his reflexes, hooked it up for a daring six. The next bale was directed for four and the sluice gates were open again. “The plan worked,” Washington said modestly.
Attacked in the pressure cooker atmosphere, Australia panicked. Washington had decided to change the game.
He admits being a little nervous before the test, after bowling coach B. Arun broke the news that he was playing. “That night, I went to bed around 10:30 p.m., but I couldn’t sleep until 1:30 p.m.”
Once the test started, his composure was back. He played his off-spinners with control, consumed Smith “at one-shot bowling”. Then, Washington 62, having all the languid left-handed grace, oozed quality.
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Washington’s drive through the offside was brilliant against a high-quality offense. And he waved Starc gracefully. “Starc was fast, Japanese Cummins and Hazlewood did it both ways.”
Here Washington brought us a little story about the tour. “I couldn’t find my rhythm at batting, I wasn’t getting the right position of my head and my body during the nets. But suddenly it all fell into place when I practiced during the Sydney test. I wore it to Brisbane.
Asked about the positivity in the Indian camp, Washington said, “Coach Ravi Shastri told us youthful stories about his playing days, and they filled you with conviction.”
There are major goals to be achieved, but Washington wants to continue enjoying his game as he did when he was locked into “ fierce ” battles with his sister Shailaja, also a cricketer, in the backyard of his house or go to the Marina beach where they would have had one go to another with a tennis ball.
While he enjoys the game, the fighting spirit has never left Washington.