Just bowl stump to stump, Venkatesh Prasad's tips for India's bowlers
Former India seamer and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad wants the struggling pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami to concentrate on bowling "stump-to-stump" without trying too many variations in upcoming Cricket World Cup, starting February 14.
New Delhi: Former India seamer and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad wants the struggling pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami to concentrate on bowling "stump-to-stump" without trying too many variations in upcoming Cricket World Cup, starting February 14.
India will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan at Adelaide on February 15.
"You just have to bowl stump-to-stump. There is no need to try anything extraordinary. In the shorter format, you just got to keep it tight and not give any width to the batsmen. That is the consistency our bowlers need to develop," Prasad told PTI in an exclusive interview.
Prasad, who has played in two ODI World Cups in 1996 and 1999 and the bowling coach during India's victorious World T20 campaign in 2007, is a bit worried about team's form.
"To a certain extent, yes," he answered.
"Having said that, the boys have got a gap for about two weeks. They have got the time to fix the flaws detected during the Australia tour. They might not have done well so far but World Cup is a new beginning.
"Just one win in a high intensity game against Pakistan, would give their morale a huge boost for the subsequent games," said Prasad, who himself played stellar role in tormenting Pakistan in the two editions (1996 and 1999) that he played in.
His animated send-off of Pakistan opener Aamir Sohail during 1996 Bangalore quarter-final is a part of Indo-Pak cricketing folklore as much as his brilliant spell of swing bowling on a cool Old Trafford afternoon in 1999.
"My performances against Pakistan has been a sheer co-incidence. It is nice to hear that my name comes up whenever people speak about Indo-Pak World Cup clashes. I am sure there would be many more players, who would create history," said Prasad.
Having "been there and done that", Prasad is eagerly awaiting for the marquee match between the arch-rivals at Adelaide, hoping India would better their tournament record against Pakistan to 6-0.
"It is a big big match for fans on either side and I heard the tickets were sold out in like 20 minutes. To live up to the fans' expectations is bound to create a lot of pressure on the players. Having played at home and away against Pakistan in World Cup, I can safely say there is less pressure outside India.
"Anyway, I feel this team is very different (from past teams) and would not let pressure get the better of them," said 45-year-old Prasad, who took 196 wickets in 161 ODIs, for India.