Prasanth Chandran happy to see so many fine pacers coming out of the State
It has been 15 years since Prasanth Chandran took seven for 71 for Kerala against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy at the Wankhade Stadium in Mumbai. Among his victims were Vinod Kambli, Wasim Jaffer, Sairaj Bahutule and Romesh Powar, all Test players.
He quit First Class cricket another five years later and has turned a coach, but Jaffer was still practising for a Ranji fixture not far away from him at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium, Krishnagiri, as he spoke about his experience of working with some of the finest fast bowlers in the country at the MRF Pace Foundation.
“I am happy being part of the MRF academy which has played such a big role in the revolution of fast bowling in India,” Prasanth told The Hindu . “If you take the top 15 quicks in India, some seven or eight of them are from MRF.”
He is glad that some of them, like Ankit Rajpoot and Avesh Khan, are increasingly getting noticed. “Both of them are pretty fast and are excellent prospects,” he said. “I am also very happy with the way Sandeep Warrier and Basil Thampi have bowled this season for Kerala.”
Prasanth added that both of them bowling well together helped Kerala tremendously. “They are both bowling better than ever,” he said. “Sandeep has become the talk of the town with his impeccable line and length and the way he is swinging the ball. As for Basil, he has evolved as a much better bowler in the longer format.”
He said K.M. Asif, another MRF trainee, was unlucky not to have made it to the Ranji team. “He is probably the quickest Kerala bowler. Fazil Fanoos is another excellent prospect. And I am told there some promising bowlers in the U-19 and 23 squads as well. Yes, it is great to see so many fine pacers coming out of Kerala.”
In his time too, the State had some quality quick bowlers, such as S. Sreesanth and Tinu Yohannan. “But we didn’t have facilities like this. Now you have excellent grounds in several districts in Kerala,” he said.
Prasanth felt the team did the right thing by opting for seaming tracks for its Ranji Trophy knockout matches. “We never got wickets like the one here in Wayanad; only when we played away, in places like Mumbai, that we could bowl on sporting tracks. Kerala’s strength now is fast bowling. So they should play on wickets that give assistance to pacers.”
Sandeep has become the talk of the town with his impeccable line and length. As for Basil, he has evolved as a much better bowler in the longer format