K.L. Rahul on Thursday said he wasn’t surprised with the performance of pace bowler M. Prasidh Krishna, who took four for 54 on debut in the first ODI against England, and said the youngster’s aggression and bravery impressed him.
“I am not surprised with what he did yesterday [March 23]. I was always confident that the next player to come out of Karnataka will be Prasidh. We weren’t of the same batch, but I watched him play a lot of junior cricket and also [saw him] in the nets. He was somebody who would catch your eye. Tall guy, bowls quick and gets a lot of bounce from the wicket," Rahul told the media in a virtual interaction on Thursday.
Rahul said Prasidh Krishna also possesses a keen sense of game.
“Having played with him for the last couple of seasons for Mushtaq Ali [Trophy] and Vijay Hazare [Trophy], I realised that he is a brave boy and has a great sense of the game. [Also impressive is] how he understands the game. He is a very keen learner and he is very brave, and comes in with a lot of aggression," he said.
“If you saw in the last game then he had a word or two with the batsman. He enjoys being in the contest. That is something that I loved. Happy to see that he wasn’t overwhelmed. I am sure there were a lot of nerves. But the way he came back after the first spell to take those two crucial wickets — these are the qualities that define a player. If he works harder he will be a great asset for the Indian team," said Rahul.
In recent times, India have earned a lot of success through their debutants. Whoever has been pushed into making a debut has performed. During the Australia series, a bunch of players — Mohammad Siraj, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar and T. Natarajan — came good. In the ongoing all-format series against England, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have come good as well.
On Tuesday, Prasidh Krishna and Krunal Pandya made their debut and set records. Krishna’s haul was the best by an Indian on debut while Krunal’s half-century was the fastest by a debutant in ODIs.
Rahul credited the youngsters’ success to the Indian Premier League that sees them play with all the top players of the world.
“I think a huge part is the IPL and the confidence that these boys come in with. Whoever is coming into the team, it is not that they have performed in one season of the IPL or one season of first-class cricket. It has been two-three years of consistent performances at whatever level or wherever they play," said Rahul, who regained form with a 62 off 43 balls on Tuesday.
“You would have heard Surya, Krunal or Ishan in their interviews saying they played against most of these guys in the IPL at some point. They know how they go about their games. IPL performances have given them a lot of confidence and they have carried that confidence playing for the country. I feel weird calling them youngsters because I have seen them performing for so many years. We want all the players coming in to continue to do what they have been doing. It is important that they stick to what they have been doing for so many years which has brought them so much success to keep believing in trying to do the best here."
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