Prasidh Krishna – Virat Kohli’s ‘Surprise Package’ for World T20
Prasidh Krishna was named by skipper Virat Kohli as ‘surprise package’ for the World T20 in Australia.
Out of the blue, Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna became the topic of discussion after the second T20I in Indore on Tuesday, 7 January – courtesy Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s revelation during the post-match presentation ceremony.
“I think one guy will be a surprise package going to Australia. Someone who can bowl with pace and has bounce,” Kohli said.
In the interview, he went onto to reveal the name of the ‘surprise package’, “Prasidh Krishna has done well in the domestic arena. It is a great luxury to have this group of bowlers in all formats. Looking at the World Cup, we have enough options.”
For most of the fans, Virat Kohli naming the Karnataka pacer, when already half a dozen pacers are auditioning for a place in the World T20 squad, was quite a surprise.
But people familiar with the exploits of Krishna in the domestic circuit won’t be surprised by Kohli’s suggestion.
The 23-year-old pacer form Karnataka first came into prominence in 2018 during the Vijay Hazare competition. Karnataka had won the tournament that season and Krishna had played a prominent role in the team’s success.
He was the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the competition with 17 wickets from 8 matches, along with Saurashtra's Dharmendra Jadeja too had taken 17 wickets but from 9 matches.
Mohammed Siraj topped the list with 23 wickets from 7 matches.
Prior to that, as a 19-year-old, he picked five wickets against a Bangladesh A side in 2015 while playing for Karnataka.
A product of the MRF Pace Foundation at Chennai, Krishna has had the opportunity to work with Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath. He ven travelled to Australia under an exchange programme to be trained under former Australian pacer Jeff Thomson.
The IPL Journey
During the 2018 IPL auction, Kolkata Knight Riders had decided to opt for youth over experience. Apart from Shubman Gill, the side had roped in Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi from the World Cup-winning Under-19 squad.
But injury to Nagarkoti in 2018 saw Krishna being fast-tracked into the side after successfully finishing a trial session with the side. Krishna proved his employers right as he finished with 10 wickets from 7 matches and helped Kolkata reach the play-offs.
More than his wicket-taking abilities, his pace and bounce grabbed all the eyeballs. So, next season when both Nagarkoti and Mavi were ruled out due to injury, Krishna was an obvious choice to lead the pace battery at the Kolkata outfit, despite the presence of an international star – Lockie Ferguson from New Zealand.
Playing 11 matches, Krishna managed only four wickets but his speed and the ability to generate bounce on flat Indian pitches impressed the Knight Riders’ management.
The fact that he was retained by the side ahead of this year’s auction once again highlights the faith shown in him by his IPL side.
In 18 matches, he has picked up 14 wickets with a strike rate of 29 and with an economy rate of 9.32.
The T20 World Cup is slated to take place later this year in October. The venue in question, Australia, is the sole reason why skipper Virat Kohli has added Krishna’s name in the scheme of things as far as the squad for the tournament is concerned.
Australian pitches are known for their bounce and pace and Kohli knows that there is no better place than Australia to put Krishna’s abilities to the best use.
Meanwhile, just a mere mention of Krishna doesn’t assure him of a place on the flight Down Under. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini and Khaleel Ahmed is already vying for spot apart from senior pros – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
With only six T20 internationals left to identify the potential squad, Krishna would be eyeing spot in the squad for the five-match T20I series in New Zealand.
But currently, Prasidh is recovering from an injury and has not played for Karnataka since a 50-over match against Puducherry in October 2019.
If he fails to recover, he always has the IPL 2020. But, only an above average season with Kolkata Knight Riders might seal a deal for the diminutive pacer.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.