Sunil Gavaskar feels Washington Sundar deserved a century in India’s first innings of the first Test against England. When the all-rounder came out to bat, Team India were reeling at 192/5. The 21-year-old played a solid knock and remained unbeaten on 85 as the hosts were bowled out for 337.
England posted a first innings total of 578 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. In reply, India lost early wickets and it seemed the visitors would take a 300-run lead. However, Washington Sundar stitched together a 80-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin to take India’s total past 300. Eventually, Sundar ran out of partners as he missed out on a well-deserved hundred.
Speaking about Washington Sundar’s efforts, former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports that the youngster’s unbeaten 85 was “as good as a hundred.”
“Look at the way Washington Sundar batted. Some of the shots he played were fabulous. That lofted shot of James Anderson for a six and then the shot against Joe Root as well. A well-deserved half-century, he deserved a 100 but unfortunately, batting at No. 7 you don’t get a lot of hundreds. That 85 not out is as good as a hundred,” Gavaskar said.
Washington Sundar completes his second half-century in his second Test. The fifty-run partnership is also up between him and Ashwin.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) February 8, 2021
Washington Sundar took 138 deliveries to score 85 runs. He smashed 12 fours and two sixes during the course of his splendid knock.
Team India trailed England by 353 runs when Rishabh Pant was dismissed, with Ravichandran Ashwin joining Washington Sundar in the middle. The two local lads steadied the boat by ensuring India did not lose another wicket on Day 3.
The duo built their respective innings well on Day 4 and stayed at the crease for over 30 overs. Jack Leach finally ended the partnership in the 87th over when he got rid of Ashwin. Speaking about the importance of the seventh-wicket stand, Sunil Gavaskar said:
“He and Ravichandran Ashwin, that partnership of 80-plus got India back in them. If they had dismissed for not too many, then England would have had a lead of 341 instead of 241. Then they would have declared after giving their bowlers enough overs to recover. Those things would have come into play.”
WATCH – Straight Drive, Sundar Style 👌
Probably the shot of the morning as @Sundarwashi5 drove one straight down the ground for a good looking boundary. Sample that for a shot.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 8, 2021
Despite taking a 241-run lead, England decided against enforcing the follow-on. At the time of writing the report, the visitors were 119-5 in their second innings.