Cricket - Prasidh Krishna
Debutant paceman Prasidh Krishna celebrates the fall of Ben Stokes' wicket in the first ODI in Pune on Tuesday. Image Credit: Reuters

Kolkata: It was in early 2020 that Indian skipper Virat Kohli had spoken about the possibility of introducing a ‘‘surprise package’’ in Prasidh Krishna in his pace bowling department for the T20 World Cup in Australia - an event which was eventually postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 24-year-old lanky paceman from Karnataka, which continued to shine in both domestic cricket as well as for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL, bid his time well before finally earning his India cap against England in the first One-day International in Pune on Tuesday - which saw him picking up two wickets of the dangerous Jason Roy and Ben Stokes in his first six overs.

The KKR camp took to social media to congratulate Krishna, who had picked up 23 wickets from 12 matches in the last two seasons of Vijay Hazare Trophy at an average of 17.09, with his best figures of 5/19 coming in against Saurashtra in 2019-2020.

Dinesh Karthik, former Indian gloveman and now vice-captain of KKR, sent across his love and best wishes for Prasidh on the special occasion. “Prasidh, I’m one of the happiest for you for what has happened today. When we picked you in 2018, I had no doubt that the way you bowled, it was a matter of time before you represent the country. The time has come. Go, shine boy. I’m sure you will do a fabulous job. Good luck with everything and I’m sure your international career will be really good,” Karthik said.

His brilliance has been noticed not only by Kohli or his KKR teammates and mentors but also by Australian legend Glenn McGrath who recently took to social media to congratulate him on being included in the India squad for the three ODIs against England. Prasidh had trained under McGrath at the MRF Foundation in Chennai for quite some time, learning nuances of fast bowling. No wonder, the Aussie great was elated to see his disciple’s inclusion in the India squad.

“I think one guy will be a surprise package. Someone who can bowl with pace and bounce. I think Prasidh Krishna has done really well in domestic cricket. It is a great luxury to have this group of bowlers in all formats. Looking at World Cup, we have enough options,” Kohli had said back then while talking about T20 World Cup probables.

More than a year later, Krishna has achieved his dream - adding to the growing armoury of Indian pace bowlers.