For 18-year-old Washington Sundar, an unflinching belief in his game has helped him break into the Indian team. Recently, Sundar flunked the Yo-Yo test, which is benchmark to make the national team, but he worked hard on his fitness and made the national squad.

“For any cricketer, playing for India is the ultimate dream. As an 18-year-old, I have got the opportunity to play for India and it is a great feeling. I trust a lot in my preparation and it has paid off,” said Sundar.

Sundar first made the T20 team for the upcoming T20 series against Sri Lanka before being named as a replacement for injured Kedar Jadhav in the ongoing one-day series. Sundar, who bowls off-spin and is a left-handed batsman, is unlikely to get a game in the series but is relishing his time in the Indian dressing room.

“It has been my fourth day to be precise but I do not feel that I just became part of the team. I knew lot of players before, have played with Mahi bhai (Dhoni) in the IPL. They all made me feel at home,” said Sundar ahead of the second one-day against Sri Lanka in Mohali.

Though he failed the fitness test, Sundar said he always believed in his ability. Sundar first came under the scanner with his performances in the IPL, helping Dhoni-led Pune Supergiants reach the final. But it was not enough to play for India, so, he worked harder on his game.

“I went back, prepared a lot, trained a lot on aspects, where I needed to. It paid off. I started bowling more and spent extra time on my batting. And fitness also as you know it has become a very important aspect of this Indian team,” said the Tamil Nadu all-rounder, who made his first-class debut last year before playing his first List A game this March.

Talking about his potential role in the Indian team, Sundar knows he has to perform both with bat and ball whenever he gets an opportunity. “I would definitely have to be ready to bowl 10 overs of off-spin and contribute with the bat no matter what position the team is in,” he said.