CHENNAI: Washington Sundar, who is all set to miss India's upcoming Test series against England with a ligament injury has been advised complete rest for the next one month at least as his participation in the remaining matches of the IPL hangs in the balance. There are also indications that the all-rounder may undergo an operation after the T20 World Cup as the injury can have a long term effect on his career.
On a day when it emerged that Washington would return home because of a finger injury, he took the field on Day Three of the practice game between Indians and the County Select XI and even ended up taking a catch to dismiss Mayank Agarwal. While it raised eyebrows, it is understood that the all-rounder only had discomfort while bowling and batting.
Washington is learnt to have first reported pain in his index finger during the World Test Championship final and was advised rest by the BCCI medical team. And since joining the team after a two-week break, he is learnt to have experienced slight pain during training sessions. It only seems to have aggravated during the practice match.
With T20 World Cup — where the 21-year-old is expected to play a crucial role in India's campaign — just months away, the team management is not willing to take any risks. With the BCCI so far showing no intentions of sending replacements, there were even deliberations to keep Washington back and use him only as a batsman, but that too has been ruled out.
Washington will leave for Chennai in the coming days and will report to the National Cricket Academy soon, where he would undergo rehabilitation. His injury is understood to be a common one among finger spinners, which can happen because of an increase in workload. Since 2020 edition of the IPL, Washington has been a regular part of the national team and was made to stay back in Australia for the Test series, where he made an impressive debut at Brisbane. The all-rounder also played a crucial role in India's home series win over England.
As far his participation in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore goes, much depends on how his injury heals. According to sources in the know, adequate rest can help in quick recovery, but his workload has to be gradually increased. That may not be possible at the IPL and much will depend on his fitness test in the NCA.
The priority right now is to ensure Washington plays in the T20 World Cup, where his off-breaks will be much needed in the UAE conditions.