Watch out for Glenn McGrath-coached Bengaluru paceman Prasidh Krishna

Written by: Aprameya .C

Bengaluru, Sep 26: Sincere. Hard working. Dedicated. These are the words used by coaches in Karnataka to describe this young Bengaluru lad, who made it to the state Ranji Trophy squad on Saturday (September 26).

The 19-year-old Prasidh Krishna was today rewarded for his consistency right from the Under-14 days. Having climbed the ladder to Under-16 and Under-19 Karnataka sides, Prasidh now has a chance to shine in India's premier first-class tournament which starts on October 1.

Prasidh Krishna

Karnataka's selection committee today announced a 15-man squad to face Assam in Guwahati. Rookie fast bowler Prasidh was included along with main pace trio of captain R Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and HS Sharath. Prasidh, with a clean action, bowls at good pace (between 135 to 140 kmph).

In all likelihood, Prasidh is set to make his Ranji Trophy debut in Guwahati. Earlier this week, he made his maiden first-class appearance, against Bangladesh A in Mysuru. Also recently he had a good Twenty20 tournament for Bellary Tuskers in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL).

Bangladesh A, which boasted of batsmen with senior international experience, were rattled by Prasidh's pace bowling in unhelpful pitch conditions. He took 6 wickets (5 in first innings on Day 1) as Karnataka won the 3-day contest by 4 wickets. It was a lucky break for Prasidh as he got a chance to play as Vinay was unwell.

"I am very happy to get a call-up to the Ranji Trophy squad. I thank the selectors for supporting me and picking me," Prasidh told OneIndia on Saturday in his first interview post-selection.

Prasidh, who plays for Mount Joy Cricket Club in Bengaluru, is focused on bowling well against Assam if given an opportunity.

"If I get a chance to make my Ranji Trophy debut, I want to bowl well and help defending champions Karnataka make a winning start," Prasidh, who is 6.2 feet tall, said.

Training under Glenn McGrath

The youngster, who trained at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai under Australian legend Glenn McGrath, wants to stick to the "process" which he has followed so far.

"I was really excited to go and train at the MRF Pace Foundation under one of the legends of the game - Glenn McGrath. He was very good, very humble and guided me," said Prasidh, who was at the Foundation for nearly 3 months earlier this year.

File photo: McGrath interacting with bowlers at the MRF Pace Foundation

It was due to the efforts of former India batsman and Karnataka State Cricket Association's (KSCA) secretary Brijesh Patel that Prasidh got an entry to the Foundation.

"I am very grateful to Brijesh Patel. I thank him for sending me to MRF Pace Foundation. He has always helped me a lot and due to him I could train under McGrath," Prasidh, who is a 2nd year B.Com student at Mahaveer Jain College, said.

When asked about his interactions with McGrath, he recalls, "McGrath shared his playing days experiences, spoke about how to get a batsman out. He made few corrections to my game. Training under him was a big confidence booster for me."

Brett Lee as role model

Having started his cricket at the age of 12 years at Carmel School in Padmanabhanagar, Bengaluru, Prasidh idolises Australia's Brett Lee.

"Brett Lee is my role model. Right from the start of my career, I have been a big fan of him and the speed at which he bowled," Prasidh said.

Coming from a sports background (mother is a former national-level volleyball player), Prasidh received all the support from his parents.

"My parents have always supported me. They gave me the freedom to pursue the sport which I liked. Their support and guidance has been a huge factor in shaping my cricket career," Prasidh explained.

'Proud moment for Mount Joy'

At Mount Joy CC where Prasidh plays, it was a proud moment to see their boy making Ranji Trophy squad.

"It is a proud moment for our club. After more than 20 years, we have a cricketer from Mount Joy CC in Karnataka Ranji Trophy squad," a happy BK Ravi, who is the club's secretary, said.

Brett Lee

Ravi, who was one of the on-field umpires in Prasidh's dream spell against Bangladesh A, was full of praise for the lanky speedster.

"Right from the young age, he has been sincere, hard working and dedicated. He started playing at Basavanagudi and came through the ranks. The spell against Bangladesh A was brilliant on a pitch which was not assisting pace bowlers," Ravi said.

'High-quality bowling'

Former India paceman and current state selector Dodda Ganesh too had high words of praise for Prasidh after including him in the squad.

"At 19, Prasidh is a very good fast bowler. I was at the ground when he took those 6 Bangladesh A wickets. It was high-quality bowling. He is a hard working boy. Hope he does well in Ranji Trophy," remarked Ganesh, who too has guided him in one of the coaching camps.

Thanking all his coaches - Srinivas Murthy (first coach), Raman Murthy, BK Ravi, Nasiruddin, J Arun Kumar and Mansur Ali Khan (both current state coaches), Prasidh promises to not let them down.

A first-class cricket induction in the royal city of Mysuru to now making the Ranji Trophy champion side, Prasidh will be aiming to live up to his name and become famous (Prasidh means famous).

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