However, KKR didn’t have a great run last season, finishing fifth after a good start.
Young KKR fast bowler Prasidh Krishna spoke to TimesofIndia.com about how the team is in good spirits and is gearing up for IPL 2020, an edition which he feels the Knight Riders can win.
GEARING UP FOR HIS THIRD IPL SEASON
Prasidh is gearing up for IPL 2020, which will be his third IPL season. This time the IPL is scheduled to be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. The cash-rich league will be played across three venues – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE.
KKR is the only team the 24-year-old has played for in the IPL so far. He has represented the Knight Riders in 18 matches in his IPL career so far and claimed 14 wickets, including one four-wicket haul.
“I am very excited for this season. Due to the pandemic, the wait was pretty long, but yes in the end we all are happy and excited that the tournament is starting. The excitement is back and everyone is eager to hit the field as soon as possible,” Prasidh told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
With no crowds, limited celebrations, social distancing protocols etc, IPL perhaps won’t look the same as it has in the past, due to the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic. But Prasidh is not thinking along these lines. The 24-year-old is happy that cricket is back.
“I think these things won’t be in anyone’s mind. Everyone is excited because cricket is back. That’s the top most thing. Of course, there will be a lot of restrictions and it will make you lonelier but at the end of the day, it is good for all of us. For me, cricket comes first and I am excited that IPL has started,” he said.
ARE KKR OVER DEPENDENT ON ANDRE RUSSELL?
With his brutal big-hitting prowess and the ability to take wickets in the death overs and crunch moments, KKR all-rounder Andre Russell has turned the game on its head on numerous occasions.
Russell was the highest run-getter for the KKR last season. He scored 510 runs in 14 matches (13 innings) at an average of 56.66. He also hit 52 gigantic sixes in the tournament, the highest by a batsman in the 2019 edition. Kings XI Punjab’s Chris Gayle was number two with 34 maximums.
Apart from his batting onslaughts, Russell claimed 11 wickets in the tournament.
But Russell alone can’t lift the team. The Knight Riders overall didn’t have a great run in IPL 2019, finishing 5th, with six wins in 14 matches.
Which begs the question – Are KKR over dependent on Russell?
Prasidh doesn’t think so.
“Russell is one of the biggest stars in the team. For anybody to say that a team is dependent on one person, it will be injustice to others in the team. He has bailed us out on many occasions. He is our superstar and there is no doubt about it,” Prasidh, who has played 9 First Class and 41 List-A matches for Karnataka so far, taking 101 wickets, told TimesofIndia.com.
DK – THE CAPTAIN
Prasidh has been enjoying playing under the leadership of Dinesh Karthik. According to him, Karthik gives him the liberty to justify his role on the field.
“The best thing in DK is that he trusts players. That’s the biggest thing which makes him a good skipper. He will give you freedom on the field. He will ensure your role is well taken care of. He is an amazing captain,” he said.
“The team is doing really great and is pumped up for the season. The camaraderie among each one of us has been great. We will take one step at a time. This year or season is going to be so exciting. All KKR players are trump cards and each one of us are match winners. I am sure we will fire in unison. We are a family. Team work is going to be a big factor for KKR this season. I am sure we will go on and clinch the title,” Prasidh told TimesofIndia.com.
PRASIDH’S AUSSIE CONNECTION
Prasidh has learnt a lot about the art of fast bowling from a few Australian greats.
‘Be calm and be consistent’ – that’s the mantra Kolkata Knight Riders fast bowler Prasidh Krishna follows whenever he hits the field. He was taught that by Australian pace great Glenn McGrath. Prasidh is one of the young Indian bowlers who has the ability to bowl over 145 kmph. The Karnataka lad credits Australian pace legends Jeff Thomson and McGrath for his rise.
The 24-year-old from Karnataka was the part of a high-intensity training program at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence under the mentorship of Australian pace great Thompson. Under the tutelage of Thomson, Prasidh learnt the art of generating bowling speed.
After gaining a bagful of knowledge from Thomson, the 24-year-old trained under the watchful eyes of another Aussie great McGrath at the MRF pace academy in Chennai.
“Being with people who have made it to the highest level in cricket, it really makes a difference. The way they inject confidence in you, the way they speak with you, makes a lot of difference. I have learnt a lot from Jeff and Glenn. They both have helped me a lot in my career so far. I am in touch with Glenn. He always helps me in my bowling. ‘Be calm and be consistent’ – that’s the mantra Glenn told me about. He has taught me how to remain calm in every given situation. He is a great mentor. The mantra is helping me a lot in my cricketing career,” Prasidh told Timesofindia.com.
“Because of those tips, I do a lot of homework ahead of a match. I watch videos and self-analysis is very important. For me, preparation is very important for a particular match. Preparation will give you a solid boost both mentally and physically. Instead of worrying about the match, if you can get back to the drawing board and do your preparation and practice right, it will help you keep your confidence up and it will help you show your mettle in the match,” the 6 foot 2 inch pacer said.
Prasidh’s Aussie connection doesn’t end there though. The man who he is truly inspired by is Aussie pace legend Brett Lee.
“I was a kid when I started watching Brett Lee on television. Since then I have been in love with his bowling. He is my inspiration. I was fascinated with his pace, yorkers and bouncers during the matches. That’s why I decided to become a fast bowler. I have had a lot of conversations with Brett. I met him during the KPL and IPL last year and we had a lot of chats about fast bowling. I am in regular touch with him. I love to discuss cricket, especially fast bowling with him,” Prasidh signed off.