BAN vs IND 2022-23, 3rd ODI: 'I have been working quite specifically on my power-hitting' - Washington Sundar
BAN vs IND 2022-23: India will aim to finish on a high in the final Chittging ODI on Saturday. Meanwhile, Washington Sundar has revealed that he has been working on his power-hitting, as it is his role.
He is not the quintessential power-hitter. But, keeping in mind the Indian team's requirements ahead of the 2023 ICC World Cup, all-rounder Washington Sundar is working "specifically" on how to hit the ball long and hard. Known to rely more on timing and placement, Washington has also played a few blinders, the most recent coming on the tour of New Zealand. And, who can forget his 14-ball 40 against former champion Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), representing fellow former champion SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH)?
"That's the role I have been getting in the last few years. That's what that particular position demands, and I have worked quite specifically that way. Whatever positions demand me to do, I have been practising that way. I have been working in those specific manners," Washington said on the eve of the third ODI against Bangladesh.
Washington is happy that his hard work is reaping dividends. "I am glad all the hard work has been coming good in the last few months. Hopefully, I will continue to do well in the coming months and years," he added. The all-rounder, who has picked up five wickets in the two preceding series matches, which India has already lost, is looking to be the player for all situations and positions.
"It was an excellent opportunity for me in the last game. With the World Cup next year, I want to be the player who can play in any situation, in any combination, and wherever the team needs. I will play to win games wherever they ask me to play. That's the kind of player I want to be," proclaimed Sundar.
"I want to contribute to my potential, contribute in a way that the team gets to win most of the games, and eventually, be very successful in the World Cup. I want to be in the present and keep doing well, improving every aspect of the game," Sundar attested. India lost both its matches in Bangladesh from winning positions, having the hosts at 136/9 in a chase of 187 in the opener and then reducing them to 69/6 before letting them off the hook to make 271/7 in the second match.
"To be honest, we had our opportunities in both the games. In the first game, they [Bangladesh] needed about 50 runs to win with one wicket, and we had an excellent opportunity. And, even in the last game, we had a good chance. In the first innings, they were 70/6, and with the way Shreyas [Iyer] and Axar [Patel] were batting, we were going to win quite convincingly, and Rohit [Sharma] bhai, the kind of knock he played, it was unreal," Sundar explained.
It was about winning those critical moments, probably doing one or two things better here and there. We will look to end the one-day series on a high," continued Sundar. He was all praise for the Bangladesh side. "Bangladesh is a high-quality side, especially at home. I think they have lost only one series at home, to England. They had a good run in the  T20 World Cup," he highlighted.
The struggling and depleted Indian team will be determined to avoid the ignominy of a clean sweep against Bangladesh in the final ODI of the three-match series at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Saturday. "Every game is an opportunity for us to keep getting better, to get the right rhythm, and obviously, perform well as a team. There will be few games in the next ten months, so every game is vital. We want to play an excellent brand of cricket no matter who we are playing," he stated.
"Our job is to play to our potential and keep improving whenever we have to. That's the mindset we are in, and we will keep looking to improve," Washington sounded. He battled a spate of injuries before forcing his way back into the Indian team. "Quite disappointing with the few injuries I have had in the past. I want to live in the present. I am getting opportunities, really want to perform and win games for India consistently. That way, things will be very bright for me, and we as a team will also be very consistent," he considered.
Asked about getting advice from head coach Rahul Dravid, Sundar communicated, "He has got so much experience, especially at this level, one-day format, he has played so many games. So obviously, he had lots of insights to share, and every conversation with him is precious."
(With inputs from PTI)