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The Aussie connect behind Prasidh Krishna's rise...

Last updated on: March 24, 2021 19:40 IST
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'He is a huge fan of Brett Lee and likes to bowl fast and with fire like him.'

Prasidh Krishna

IMAGE: Prasidh Krishna registered a haul of 4/54, the best by an Indian debutant in ODIs, in the opening match against England in Pune on Tuesday. Photograph: BCCI

Another match and another dazzling debut. India's happy problem of plenty found its newest addition in rookie pacer Prasidh Krishna -- a Brett Lee and masala dosa fan who got some top-notch guidance from none other than Jeff Thomson in his journey to the highest level.

 

Krishna registered a haul of 4/54, the best by an Indian debutant in ODIs, in the opening match against England in Pune on Tuesday.

The lanky bowler's performance was made more special by the resolve he showed after being hammered in his first spell. He leaked 37 runs in his first three overs.

"My first day at work was a roller coaster ride. Never over until it's over. All's well that ends well. Cheers to this special match and many more to come," he tweeted on Wednesday.

The 25-year old Karnataka bowler loves his masala dosa and is a big fan of former Australia pacer Lee, according to his father Murali Krishna.

In fact, the Australia connection is not limited to his admiration for Lee, one of the fastest to have played the game. It goes back a few years.

He took up the game at the age of 11 and enjoyed stints in Australia with the legendary Thomson, the pace icon that many bowlers have grown up wanting to emulate.

It was in 2017 when, as part of the IDBI Federal Bowling Foundation, Krishna travelled to Australia along with Tushar Desphande and two others to train with Thomson.

According to Makarand Waingankar, a former cricket administrator and columnist, the training at the Cricket Australia (CA) Academy in Brisbane proved extremely beneficial for Krishna.

"The exposure Prasidh Krishna got at the CA Academy stood him in good stead and helped improve his skills," he said.

Waingankar was all praise for the lanky bowler's "cricket intelligence" and said it was evident in how he bounced back after being hit for runs in his first three overs in international cricket.

"He is very intelligent...I am talking about his cricket intelligence. This helped him bounce back after a tough start when he was taken apart by the England openers.

"This showed the boy's character," the veteran columnist added.

Prasidh Krishna

IMAGE: Head coach M Senthilnathan said Prasidh Krishna improved leaps and bounds since he trained at the MRF Pace Foundation in 2017. Photograph: BCCI

M Senthilnathan, head coach at the MRF Pace Foundation where Krishna had trained, echoed similar views and said the bowler improved leaps and bounds since he was trained at the academy in 2017.

"We selected him in 2017. He had done well for Karnataka in a game against the touring Bangladesh 'A' side in 2015 and that got him noticed.

"After he came to the MRF Academy we worked on his physical side, he did gym work and we worked on his skills. He works very hard on his game," he added.

Also, learning from the great Glenn McGrath at the Academy helped a lot, Senthilnathan, a former India under-19 captain, said. 

McGrath had worked on honing Prasidh's skills at the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai back in 2017.

McGrath, on Wednesday, congratulated pacer Prasidh on making his ODI debut for India against England in the series-opener on Tuesday.

"Congratulations Prasidh @skiddyy on taking 4/54 & breaking the Indian record for most wickets taken by a bowler on ODI debut. Well done mate #cricket #mrfpacefoundation #fbc," McGrath wrote in the Instagram post.

Prasidh was overwhelmed by his mentor's appreciation post.

"The difference he made was to bring in that aura of calmness and also he was very specific about the line and length with respect to different pitches. He always spoke of being consistent. The first thing I picked from him was to remain in the present under all circumstances as it is the most important aspect for a bowler when you are playing a game," Kolkata Knight Riders official website quoted Prasidh as saying on McGrath's contribution to his career.

Prasidh also went to the CA Centre of Excellence in Brisbane in 2019 as part of MRF Pace Foundation's MoU with Cricket Australia.

The academy head coach hailed Prasidh's mental strength which helped him fight back after a tough initiation into international cricket.

"The beauty is that he came back very strongly after being hit. He fought back, stuck to the basics and did not over-try which brought him success," Senthilnathan added.

Prasidh's father was a cricketer too and played for the college team.

"Prasidh started playing at the age of 11 and did well in school cricket as an all-rounder. At the age of 14 he became serious about fast bowling. The family has supported him in his endeavours," Krishna Senior said from Bengaluru.

"He is a huge fan of Brett Lee and likes to bowl fast and with fire like him. And, he loves masala dosa," he added, fondly revealing his son's favourites.

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