Prasidh set to make his return after a long layoff

Prasidh Krishna set to make his return after a long layoff

Prasidh Krishna of Karnataka cricket player at the practice session Karnataka vs Baroda Ranji Trophy cricket match at KSCA S Chinnaswamy stadium, Bengaluru. (DH Photo)

On Monday at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, Prasidh Krishna wasn't bowling at full tilt. The pacer, one of Karnataka's frontline options ahead of the season, hadn't bowled close to three and a half months having spent a major chunk of his season on the sidelines. Yet all is not lost for the youngster insofar as this Ranji Trophy tournament is concerned. 

Set to make his comeback with Karnataka's crucial game against Baroda from Wednesday, Prasidh has a great chance to make a mark and take that confidence to the upcoming Indian Premier League, his next big assignment.

His promising start to the 2019-20 season was cut short when the right-arm fast bowler limped off the field injured in Karnataka's Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinal clash against Puducherry here at the Chinnaswamy on October 20.

A stress fracture of the fibula resulted in a lengthy lay-off, a time during which Karnataka annexed the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophies. Even during their less-than-impressive Ranji Trophy season, Karnataka didn't have the services of Prasidh. It's difficult not to be in action when your team is winning titles but it's even more frustrating to not be able to lift your team's spirits during its crisis.

"It happened unexpectedly. I did miss playing games. It's not easy to sit at home and watch your team play. You expect yourself to be there with the team. It was tough but I also understood that it's the only time I get off cricket and I think I used that time and here I am," Prasidh told reporters in an interaction. 

A fierce competitor, the lanky pacer had made the right noises in the last two editions of the IPL. Prasidh's record of 14 wickets from 18 games from two seasons combined (2018 & 19) isn't appealing. But with his impressive pace and accuracy, the 23-year-old had shown he was special. His ability to keep a calm head under pressure gave Kolkata Knight Riders belief to repeatedly use him at the death. Having also graduated to the India A level as well, the timing of the injury was a setback for the Bengaluru boy.

Relieved after bowling with his State-mates for the first time after the injury, Prasidh turned philosophical. "It's about how early you understand that whatever happened has happened for a reason. Everybody gets injured. It comes down to being mature. So you make use of the time instead of cribbing or feeling sad," Prasidh said. 

The testing rehab phase can sow many seeds of doubt in a player. Playing with a free mind after recovery takes time, admitted Prasidh. "I had a lower limb injury. It took time for me to start running. I did have one week or ten days of good running before I could get into bowling. Once I got into bowling, it was about workload. I was a bit conservative when I started bowling. It took me at least four to five sessions to feel that there is nothing in my leg and I can push myself further. Until I play a game, the injury will be in the back of my mind," said Prasidh, who has 111 wickets from 75 games across formats.

Virat Kohli's recent encouraging remarks on Prasidh should give the pacer enough motivation to return with a bang. The Indian captain had called him a surprise package in his plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup. For now, Prasidh is happy to join his Karnataka team-mates. "They have always welcomed me and they are happy (for me) to be back. My rehab went well at the NCA and I am in good rhythm, " he said with a smile.

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