Zaheer Khan believes Ravichandran Ashwin gave Washington Sundar a ‘guru mantra’ on how to dismiss Steve Smith. The star Australia batsman once again fell to spin as debutant Washington Sundar dismissed him on 36 and picked his maiden Test wicket. Ashwin who is not playing in the Brisbane Test had the wood over Smith in the first two Tests of the series.
Overall Ashwin dismissed Smith 3 times as the legendary Aussie batsman struggled against his off-spin. Now even when Ashwin is sitting out Zaheer Khan reckons he had a role to play is the wicket of Smith. The former cricketer thinks that Ashwin probably gave Sundar some useful advice while handing him his debut cap.
Let's hear it for @Sundarwashi5, who gets his #TeamIndia ???? from @ashwinravi99. He stayed back after the white-ball format to assist the team and is now the proud holder of cap number 301. ???????? pic.twitter.com/DY1AwPV0HP
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 14, 2021
Before the play began Sundar received his Test match cap from Ashwin where he was seen giving a motivating speech. Whatever Ashwin said worked as Sundar bowled a well-flighted delivery on middle and leg which Smith hit straight down the throat of Rohit Sharma at short mid-wicket. Zaheer continued that much like Ashwin, Sundar got the ball to drift but was slightly quicker in the air.
Washington Sundar will cause a lot of problems in the second innings- Zaheer Khan
“It seemed like Ashwin gave Washington Sundar the guru-mantra on how to dismiss Steve Smith, along with his cap, about the line to be bowled in these conditions. We saw that he was able to get the ball to drift like Ashwin although he is quicker in the air than Ashwin.” Zaheer Khan said.
Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan was all praises for Sundar and holds that he will continue to trouble right-handed batsmen. He added that if the pitch grips in the second innings, Sundar will be very handy as he can get his deliveries to grip faster than the rest of the spinners. Zaheer was satisfied with Sundar’s bowling performance on day 1 as the pitch had nothing for him but he was still consistent with his lengths.
“The line which he bowls to the right-handers, he will give trouble to them, especially when his faster deliveries get grip from the pitch. Then his straighter ones can prove to be even better. So, I believe when he comes in the second innings, and there is help like that in the wicket, he will cause a lot of problems.
But the way he bowled his 22 overs, considering that there was not that much help from the pitch the way we have normally seen so far on this tour, I feel it was a very good day for him”, Zaheer Khan concluded.