Mentally Strong & a Keen Learner – Prasidh Krishna Makes His Mark

While Krunal blasted a 50, it was the other debutant Prasidh Krishna who lit up the evening with his fast bowling.

4 min read
Prasidh Krishna celebrates one of his 4 wickets against England. 

At this point in time, if you are a cricket team up against the Indian Men’s cricket team, England in this case, you’d be a little more wary of every debutant taking their place in the XI. Each one has been brilliant in their roles whenever called upon. More recently, Prasidh Krishna’s pace stung the ODI World Champions in Pune.

Tuesday saw India and England battle it out in a contest where either could have won it, and both had their fair share of individual contributions as well.

If Krunal Pandya stole the show with the bat, it was the other debutant Prasidh Krishna, who, after a nervy start with the new ball, bounced back with a robust spell of fast bowling, helping stop the rampant English batting.

The 25-year-old produced a show of great character and resolve as he led the comeback for India against England.

The Karnataka pacer conceded 37 runs in the first three overs, including 22 off the third before bouncing back and in his second spell with some immaculate lines and lengths on his way to wrap up the win and register figures of 4/54 – the best by an Indian men’s cricketer in ODI cricket.

“I didn't start off well, they went hard, but we took wickets in a cluster. I just wanted to hit good areas, I thought after the third over I can't bowl full and hit the good lengths. As a bowling unit, we were outstanding today. I want to be called a hit-the-deck bowler, I think I'm better at it. I will go back, work on my lengths, and come back. I hope I can do it for the team for long. From the beginning even if we are going for runs, the talk was to pick up a wicket,” Krishna said after the game.

Krishna, in his second spell, picked the wickets of Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Sam Billings and Tom Curran as India took control of the contest.

“He is mentally strong and is playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, and being Karnataka’s strike bowler in recent years means, he has to perform. And with responsibility, the thinking changes and that helped him and gave him confidence,” former India and Karnataka pacer Vinay Kumar said.

“Nowadays because of IPL, players are aware that there will be few overs that will go badly and they know they have the chance to rectify the mistakes then and there. For any bowler the first wicket is a great moment and after that he was a different bowler.”

“His start was not great and in international cricket, it might not go as you want always. He learnt quickly and corrected his length after the first spell. Credit to Virat Kohli and the management for having faith in him.”

Remember, Krishna was earmarked as a special talent by none other than captain Virat Kohli in the early days of January 2020 when India were well focused on their plans for the T20 World Cup.

“He needs to be more innovative and try variations. Also, sometimes he tends to forget to stick to basics. If he can sort out these minor glitches, he will be one of the best in the country soon,” said Karnataka bowling coach Sreenath Arvind.

Early Days

The Bengaluru lad, who started playing the sport in school around the age of 11, first got a taste of competitive cricket at a senior level when senior Karnataka bowlers like Vinay Kumar were unavailable to play against a touring Bangladesh A side. Krishna stepped with a five-wicket haul in the first innings and one wicket in the second, in a match-winning performance in September 2015.

Krishna continued the good work for his state side in the next couple of seasons, picking 30 wickets across a couple of Vijay Hazare Trophy campaigns, catching the eye of Kolkata Knight Riders’ scouts and, of course, their then captain Dinesh Karthik.

In the most recently concluded campaign as well, Krishna was Karnataka’s highest wicket-taker with 14 from 7 games.

Sreenath Arvind, the current Karnataka bowling coach, said, “What strikes the most of Prasidh is that he is very hardworking and a keen learner. A thorough team man, he is also a thinking bowler.”[sic.]

"Prasidh, I'm one of the happiest for you for what has happened today. When we picked you in 2018, I had no doubt that the way you bowled, it was a matter of time before you represent the country. The time has come. Go, shine boy! I'm sure you will do a fabulous job. Good luck with everything and I'm sure your international career will be really good," Karthik said in a video posted by KKR on social media.

2017 had been an important year in the development of Krishna as he was trained under the tutelage of former Australian pacers Jeff Thomson and Glenn McGrath.

The year after saw Krishna take big strides in terms of growth as a bowler and worked on the strength aspect of his game.

He also played for India A squad for the tri-series against England A and West Indies A. Krishna was also part of a quadrangular one-day series, involving India A, India B, Australia A and South Africa A, where India B won the series and Krishna picked two four wicket hauls.

Prasidh Krishna celebrates the wicket of Sam Billings. 
Prasidh Krishna celebrates the wicket of Sam Billings. 
Image: BCCI

The Glitzy World of the IPL

Once picked by KKR in 2018, Krishna was thrust into the deep at the end of the next season when fast bowlers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti picked up injuries.

However, it was the first season where he played 7 games and picked 10 wickets, surprising people with pace and bounce on Indian pitches that were tailor-made for batsmen and that caught the eye.

His second season was one to forget where he played 11 games and picked 4 wickets before the bandwagon travelled for a unique experience in the UAE in IPL 2020.

In 24 matches for the KKR franchise, he picked up 18 wickets with a strike rate of 28.6 and an economy rate of 9.33.

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