In IPL 2019, during match 54 between the Kolkata Knight Riders and SunRisers Hyderabad, the former were facing a do-or-die situation to make the playoffs. The latter won the toss and opted to bat and Shikhar Dhawan got his side to a great start, milking two boundaries off Prasidh Krishna's first over and the innings' second.
The pacer gingerly walked back to his fielding position at the end of the over and was taken out of the attack. He was thrown the ball only in the 15th over with Dhawan well-set on a 38-ball 50, alongside the dangerous Manish Pandey.
Despite being taken for 11 runs off his first over, the youngster struck on the first ball of the 16th over by trapping Dhawan plumb in front. He gave away just 15 runs off his next 11 balls and in his final over even claimed a memorable hat-trick to restrict SRH to just 172.
In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Prasidh turned the clock back to his big moment, and shed light on how KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik's trust in players helped him gather the requisite self-confidence against SRH.
"The trust he has in his players is a lot. If he picks someone in the XI, he makes sure that the player is given time and space. As a youngster, if the captain trusts you, it gives you a lot of cushion to perform and deliver for the team, " Prasidh said.
For the 24-year-old pacer, playing cricket began on the streets of Bengaluru. When he was in 5th grade, Prasidh was enrolled in the Basavanagudi Coaching Academy where he saw many youngsters waiting in line for their chance to bat.
That's when he claims he chose to pursue bowling and avoid the wait to bat, and given that the youngster was too quick for the junior nets, he was fast-tracked into the senior division.
Sparkling debut for Karnataka at the age of 19
Gifted with a tall frame and an ability to extract bounce, pace bowling came naturally to Prasidh and after some top performances at the club level, he made his Karnataka debut on September 22nd, 2015 against Bangladesh A in Mysore.
In the absence of senior pros, Prasidh ran through the opposition and removed some big names to finish with match figures of 6/102, announcing his arrival in style. Terming the said match as a 'big part' of his career, the fast bowler added that it was a blessing in disguise that he did not have to think too much ahead of the game, having been picked in the XI on match-day.
Having come through the ranks and played alongside Abhimanyu Mithun, Sreenath Aravind and R Vinay Kumar among others, Prasidh claimed that the strength of the star-studded Karnataka side has instilled a sense of non-complacency in him. In a certain way, this is something that has enabled him to grab whatever opportunity has come his way.
"Karnataka was such a side that there was no chance for complacency. Everybody was professional and the side operated like a well-oiled machine. The need for me to be non-complacent really brought about a change in my mindset which helped me, " he added.
One name that is synonymous with Karnataka cricket is that of Rahul Dravid and Prasidh claims that his biggest takeaway from conversations with the Indian legend is to play for the team, and do what it takes to bring about wins for the team.
In 2017, Prasidh also had a chance to interact with his childhood hero, former Australian speedster, Brett Lee during a KPL match. The youngster recollects fond memories of his conversation with Lee, which represented another one of those happy coincidences in sport.
"Brett Lee is someone who I have looked up to since a young age. He was a stylish player, and all the youngsters back then wanted to try his action, even I tried to mimic his action when I was young, " Prasidh said.
"During one KPL match, I was asked to go and sit in the commentary box, I didn't know he was there. We had a long conversation about bowling. When I sat next to him, it felt amazing. Everybody at home knew I was a fan of Lee, so it felt good," he added.
Vijay Hazare win, IPL debut with KKR, India A stint - 2018, a year to remember
A year later, Prasidh started making waves in the Indian cricketing landscape and won the Vijay Hazare Trophy with Karnataka, finishing as the highest wicket-taker for his side. A few months later, the pacer was also roped in by KKR for his bow in the IPL, followed by a maiden stint with India A.
The seamer emphasised on how the Vijay Hazare win acted as a springboard for a great year overall.
"In that 2018 season, Vinay and Mithun were injured. Aravind was not a part of the team. It was up to us youngsters, we had a point to prove. We hadn't done well in T20s and the Ranji Trophy, and we needed to do well in the 50-over format. I think everything turned out good because we won the Vijay Hazare Trophy, " Prasidh said.
As for Prasidh's spell with KKR, the pacer claims that it was 'weird' for him to join the side in the middle of IPL 2018 as a replacement for the injured Kamlesh Nagarkoti. The youngster also made mention of how he adhered to his principles of non-complacency, despite bowling to some big-hitters such as Andre Russell or Chris Lynn.
I remember when I first stepped onto the ground, I did not know anybody. I didn't have anyone to talk to. I knew only Robin (Uthappa) and Vinay. It was obviously a good challenge for me to bowl at guys like Lynn and Russell but my focus was to create an impact every time I bowled to them. I ensured that the pressure did not get to me, " Prasidh added.
'Homecoming' for Prasidh in April 2019
One of Prasidh's biggest moments in the IPL came when he arrived at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru for KKR's away game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore last year.
Having grown up playing at the venue, this game was a 'homecoming' of sorts for Prasidh, who knew everybody at the ground and met familiar faces, moments before the match.
The pacer reminisced how the crowd's support for RCB was tough to deal with initially, but it did not feel too different for him since it was only natural for the home fans to support the Virat Kohli-led franchise.
"To be honest, when I came to Bengaluru and I had to play against RCB, it did not feel like an away game. It was only natural that even though I was playing, everyone was supporting the opposition because it is a team sport," said Prasidh.
He further added that bowling to Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the same game was on his bucket list, and he was happy that he could bowl against the duo during that encounter against RCB.
"Want to pick Pat Cummins' brains"
Currently 18 matches old in the IPL, Prasidh is also warming up to playing alongside big names such as Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins among others in the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league.
The Knight Riders broke the bank to secure the services of Cummins for a massive sum of ₹15.5 Crore, and Prasidh for one is looking forward to picking up some skills from the Australian all-rounder.
"I'm eager to meet and learn from Pat Cummins. We've all seen what he's done on the world stage for Australia, he's done great stuff. I'm eager to meet him and pick his brains," Prasidh quipped.
Unfortunately for IPL aficionados, the tournament is most likely to be pushed even further than April 15, with the lock-down period in operation owing to the coronavirus threat.
FIFA and PUBG, two ways to keep oneself occupied during the lockdown
As for Prasidh, who is a fan of the popular Netflix show, Money Heist, the Bengaluru-based pacer is using this period to catch up with friends over a couple of games of FIFA and his newfound interest, PUBG while gorging on some of the best masala dosas made by his mother at home.
However, the fitness fanatic in him continues to take up simple drills and rehabilitation structures at home in a bid to keep himself fit during these testing times. For a man who stresses on the need to remain non-complacent, Prasidh is happy to see that Karnataka cricket is heading in the right direction.
And, once the lockdown period is done, the pacer has only one thing in mind - just to get out of the house and start playing cricket, for he misses nothing more than the lovely sport and the cricket field.
After all, if Prasidh indeed embodied the complacent type, he would want to rest on his laurels and only relive the glory of his previous successes, rather than putting everything on the line to carve a further niche for himself, wouldn't he?Published 07 Apr 2020, 14:13 IST