Team India off-spinner Washington Sundar has said he was disappointed that he had to miss last year's T20 World Cup due to injury concerns. Speaking after team India's victory over the West Indies in Ahmedabad on Sunday here, he picked a match-winning three-wicket haul on his return to the field. Sundar said he would focus on doing his best for team India over the next 18 months as they are expected to play a T20 World Cup and a 50-over World Cup.
Sundar made his maiden international appearance in 2017. Since then, he had been a key player in the T20I team. The young off-spinner also played for the Test squad for the first time last year where he made a stunning display in the match against England in the longest format of the game.
Last year, he was included in the T20 World Cup squad but had to be sidelined after the second half of Indian Premier League 2021 and the T20 World Cup due to a finger injury he suffered during his trip to England. Sundar should also have made an appearance in India's ODI tour to South Africa tour last month but was ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19.
What was said
"It was very, very disappointing to have lost out on a chance to play the World Cup," Sundar told reporters after his three-wicket haul on Sunday. "But yes, there are two World Cups in the next 15-16 months, so that should be my focus.
More than anything, I have always wanted to be in the present and keep getting better as a cricketer. If I do that, there would be many opportunities and the fact that I would be able to perform a lot better. I have loved to stay in the present and enjoy the game,"
Sundar insisted that his priority right now was to keep improving.
"There were a lot of challenges, but I just wanted to do what I could do to improve myself as a cricketer," he continued. "That's all that's in my control, and I was only focussing on that.
"Yes, there will always be challenges; that's something that I have realised, especially in the last couple of years but what matters is how I push myself, keep getting better at the aspects that I want to, and keep improving myself. I've tried to focus on it."
Speaking on his winning display in the match against the West Indies, Sundar said he focused on his strengths.
"I was just bowling to my strength, and of course, we had some plans for their batsmen," the off-spinner said. "We just wanted to execute the plans and it was heartening to get off. I am happy that I could bowl to my strengths."
Also, on Sunday, Sundar bowled early in the power-play. However, he insisted his Vijay Hazare Trophy Vijay Hazare Trophy helped him.
"That's something I have been doing for the last few years. I enjoy bowling in the Powerplay now," he continued. "Even the fact that I played Vijay Hazare helped me bowl in different situations of the game."
"Even there, I bowled a lot with the new ball. So all those experiences have definitely helped."