Prasidh Krishna had a forgettable Test debut against South Africa. He was wayward, bereft of ideas and lacked the basic discipline of Test match bowling. In many ways, his below-average performance was one of the main reasons why India could not put any pressure on the South African batters whenever Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were taken off the attack. Captain Rohit Sharma said that they would back the young right-arm pacer after the humiliating loss by an innings and 32 runs in Centurion. But the fact that the Indian team management hurriedly summoned Avesh Khan to the squad for the second match in Cape Town indicates that Prasidh is likely to be dropped from the XI.
Avesh is currently playing the second unofficial match between India A and South Africa A and has taken a five-wicket haul in the first innings. The reason behind the team management’s decision to play Prasidh ahead of Mukesh Kumar was purely because of the success tall hit the deck bowlers get on the South African pitches. Historically, bowlers who can extract more bounce from the surface have done well here but Prasidh was way off his line and length to bring that theory into play.
Prasidh’s lack of experience in playing red-ball cricket was on full show at the Supersport Park.
“Poor Prasidh… The kid isn’t ready for Test cricket. He doesn’t have skills to bowl second and third spells yet. They went with him based on his ability to hit the deck. But they forgot when has he last played a proper season of Ranji Trophy? Just one India A game isn’t enough,” a former India bowler told PTI.
He said that even Avesh’s inclusion wouldn’t make much of a difference unless he is given a long rope.
“The problem is India’s next generation of pacers don’t evoke the same kind of excitement and confidence that Bumrah, Shami, Ishant and Siraj produced.
“Avesh is same type of bowler like Prasidh but plays red ball cricket more regularly. So he might hit better lengths. Navdeep Saini is still playing India A for six years. That tells you the story,” the bowler, who refused to be named, said.
Shardul Thakur’s long rope as bits and pieces cricketer also might come to an end as he is neither looking menacing with the ball nor dependable with the bat.
Had Hardik Pandya been interested in playing red ball cricket, Shardul wouldn’t have been in the horizon of Tests but with lack of good multi-skilled cricketers in domestic set-up, he is considered to be the best among whatever talent is available in store.
India might still handle this WTC cycle but possessing a bowling attack with an ability to take 20 sticks is a distant reality.