Venkatesh Prasad, former Indian pacer and U19 chief selector, on Friday (31 May), paid his visit to Chandigarh to select the winner of the Red Bull Speedster Challenge. While interacting with the young bowlers, he spoke highly on the upcoming crop of bowlers in the country.
Prasad, who was the bowling coach for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, believes that the ability to adapt to different situations, as well as, understanding the need of the team, makes a bowler superior in the job.
He told the Indian Express, “There is a lot of talent in fast bowling in India and youngsters are showing a lot of promise. When I was the chief junior selector, we picked up bowlers like Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who impressed all in the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. Their ability to try the variations and handle pressure situations was something which helped them. A fast bowler’s role in the team is all about understanding what the team requires apart from understanding the situation of the game. That’s how fast bowlers need to play the role and it also depends on their awareness of the game. What is important for a fast bowler is their ability to adapt to different situations.”
He is also highly impressed with Indian seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, saying, “Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the bowlers who has impressed me. He was part of the Uttar Pradesh team when I was the coach of the team six years ago and he has been able to adapt to different conditions. He tries a lot of variations in his bowling and that makes him impressive.”
Meanwhile, T-20 cricket is emerging as the most popular format and players triggered a lot of attention while playing in T20s, but Prasad believes that a bowler’s potential is judged by the longest format of the game.
Venkatesh signed off by saying, “For me, to term, a player successful depends on his performance in the longer format of the game. I come from the old school of thought and some may differ from my thoughts. It is not that I don’t like the shorter format but the point is that there is a lot which is needed to excel in the longer format. Smartness, fitness apart from the tactical aspect of the game plays a part in success in Test matches and I feel a player, who performs in the longer format, will be more suited to any form of the game.”