It was his second over of the innings and the speed gun read 142,145, 146,146, 147, 149 (kph). Yes, that’s an Indian bowler breathing fire on a big stage and bowling at speeds which are very rare for an Indian bowler. In all the pre-tournament hype surrounding a new fast bowling talent in the name of Navdeep Saini, not much of a spotlight was there on the new find by KKR.
Maybe he was a talent that was yet to be unearthed; maybe he was a talent that hadn’t yet made his mark on the game that well. Irrespective and unaware of the lack of hype that surrounded him, Prasidh Krishna has come out to bowl and bowl fast in both the outings. He’s been quick. He’s generated good bounce and on and off he’s been tough to tackle with.
But like every other fast bowling sensation that is discovered in modern-day cricket Prasidh Krishna comes with two of the biggest cautionary notes surrounding him. The first is his fitness and the second is his effectiveness with the bowl. Why did we talk about fitness? Because we have to address the elephant in the room. There aren’t that many bowlers in the history of cricket who have sustained clocking 150Kph on a consistent basis.
Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar were a rare genetic breed who did that and that too for the bulk of their careers but you move beyond them you find a long list of bowlers who suffered major injuries, stress fractures and what not as their body just couldn’t take the rigors of bowling fast at such frequency.
David Pattinson, Pat Cummins,Shane Bond, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shaun Tait, Merchant De Lange, Nantie Hayward, Allan Donald and so many others, the list is long with players who either gave up the yards to prolong their career or Ultimately suffered so much that they ended up having truncated careers.
It still needs to be seen whether Krishna’s body can actually take the rigors of consistently bowling at that pace. And secondly, there is still a question mark on Prasidh Krishna the bowler because yes he can bowl fast, yes he can hit the deck hard but at the end of the day, how many wickets does he take and how many runs does he score is where the buck stops.
Varun Aaron is probably the biggest example of pace not being the only important thing if one has to succeed in international cricket. What made Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar successful and so feared was their ability to actually hit the correct spot at a ridiculous pace which made them a nightmare to face.
For Prasidh Krishna, the jury is still out on that one. And that’s why it is important to look at this prospect as still just a prospect because not only does he need to prove his fitness he also needs to prove how good a bowler he is. But having said that, it’s heartwarming to see an Indian Bowler crank it up to 150s on the big stage.