‘Mahi bhai helped me evolve as a cricketer’ – Washington Sundar reveals MS Dhoni’s role in his career

Royal Challengers Bangalore spinner Washington Sundar has evolved as one of the best spinners to bank on during the Powerplay overs in T20s.

MS Dhoni Washington Sundar - FirstSportz
Washington Sundar with MS Dhoni

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) off-spinner Washington Sundar has credited MS Dhoni for helping him evolve as a cricketer during his stint with Rising Pune Supergiant. Sundar has been delivering one consistent performance after another in this year’s IPL and has been one of the key reasons for RCB’s terrific showing in this year’s Indian Premier League.

Sundar has been tight with his lines and lengths and stifled opposition batsmen in the Powerplay. He has also regularly chipped in with important wickets. From being underutilized at one point, he has become a vital cog in RCB’s wheel. The 21-year-old Sundar first appeared in the IPL for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 where he played alongside MS Dhoni. He then moved to RCB in 2018 and has also represented India in 21 T20Is and 1 ODI.

‘My height is a positive thing’ – Sundar

Washington Sundar Virat Kohli - FirstSportz
Washington Sundar celebrates a wicket with Virat Kohli

Washington Sundar spoke to media ahead of RCB’s match against Kings XI Punjab. He credited MS Dhoni for helping him evolve as a player. He said, “The fact that I played in RPS under Mahi bhai helped me evolve as a cricketer and since then I have been learning and evolving as a bowler as well.”

Sundar then spoke of technical aspects including releasing the ball late and making use of one’s height. “Releasing the ball late is the key. If you follow the feet of a batsman, then you will get a slight hint about what he intends to do. And if you can pick up the hint, it’s going to help you do what he doesn’t want you to do. I am very conscious about releasing the ball as late as possible. That way I can react to what the batsman is doing,” Sundar said.

“It (height) is definitely a positive thing. If at that height, I can use it properly with speed it will be an advantage and that’s what I have been trying to work on in the last couple of years. I have put in a lot of work knowing that my height will give me an advantage if I used that to the fullest. I have to keep the same rhythm going,” he added.

Sundar then signed off saying he’s happy with the confidence captain Virat Kohli has shown in him. “I’m glad that Virat has shown so much confidence in me and thrown balls at me during the Powerplay and other crucial junctures of the game. For a finger spinner, captain’s confidence is extremely important.” he said.

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