India captain Rohit Sharma spoke of Washington Sundar in glowing terms following the off-spinner's 3/22 helped India beat Bangladesh by 17 runs and reach the Nidahas T20 tri-series final on Wednesday.
Rohit, who himself returned to form with a brilliant 89 off 61 balls, said Sundar's bowling went a long way towards earning India an important win in a crucial encounter.
"As I said at the toss, it was important for me to return to form. Although, I felt we were 10-15 runs short, but they bowled well at the death. Anyway, Washington's spell up front was magical," Man-of-the-Match Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
He continued: "It's not easy for a spinner to bowl with the new ball, so hats off to him. The rest of the bowlers executed their plans perfectly too at the back end.
"Washington has been courageous to take the ball from me, not afraid to flight the ball, and he's very clear on what he wants to execute. That allows me to breathe easy. When a bowler knows what field to set, that says a lot about that individual. He bowled well against Sri Lanka as well."
Rohit and Raina (47) added 102 runs for the second wicket off 56 balls to help India post a commanding 176/3 on a low and slow wicket. "The pitch wasn't the usual wicket, and the ball was gripping. It wasn't easy to hit on the up as well, so I decided to take some time getting set. I knew the new batsmen would find it tough. Raina's been in terrific form too, so hope he does well in the final too," Rohit said.
Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj also got a game on Wednesday after India decided to drop Jaydev Unadkat. Bangladesh needed 28 runs in the last over to win when Rohit handed the ball to the young Hyderabad pacer who had not had a good time until then. The Indian captain revealed his chat with the bowler prior to the final over.
"Before Siraj's final over, all I told him was to keep it simple. I just wanted him to continue bowling back-of-the-length balls because we found that tough to hit as well. Whatever I've seen of him, he can execute those plans. I can understand nerves, but he's a great talent. He will go from strength to strength. Wasn't a great game for him [having expended 50 runs for one wicket], but he's a great talent," he concluded.