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Prasanna's advice to captains on how to handle spinners

Last updated on: August 19, 2015 09:17 IST

Erapalli PrasannaIndia's spin legend Erapalli Prasanna says it is imperative for a spinner to have the captain's faith in his abilities as a bowler.

"The most important thing for a spinner is that the captain should have faith in you. He should also be able to correctly assess you as to how good you are as an independent bowler. He has to allow you to bowl your way with your fields," he was quoted as saying by

For a spinner to thrive, he needs to have a good rapport with his captain, something Prasanna says he had with his then skipper Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.

"With MAK Pataudi, once I set my field, he knew exactly what I was trying to do. He knew what ball was coming up next. There was an unspoken understanding between us. All the other aspects, like setting up a batsman or making subtle changes in the field, come when you share that kind of understanding with the captain."

Prasanna, part of the famous spin quartet that included Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishen Singh Bedi, is considered one of the greatest exponents of off-spin bowling.

He played 49 Tests and picked up 189 wickets, at an average of 30.38.

"As a spinner it is imperative that one bowls length, as he is unlikely to get wickets if he bowls short. Once you bowl length, you can spice it up with all the other variations and subtle elements."

The 75-year-old revealed that basketball played a part in his development as a bowler.

"It was natural. Also, I used to play a lot of basketball. For someone my height the only way I could successfully shoot the basketball against a tall, jumping defender was to have a loop and the dip. Most of the time I played as a right-winger, so shooting from side-on helped me develop the same attributes in my bowling."

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