Former Indian right-arm seamer Venkatesh Prasad might have struggled with injuries throughout his career; however, he was one of the most celebrated pacers in the country. Venkatesh Prasad, combined with Javagal Srinath, formed one of the best pace-bowling pairs and achieved a considerable amount of success. Prasad, who played under Sourav Ganguly, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Sachin Tendulkar, named the best captain according to him.
Venkatesh Prasad, who played only 33 Tests, is India’s fifth-highest wicket-taker in ODIs with 196 scalps at 32.30. One of the Karnataka-born cricketer’s memorable moments came against Pakistan during the 1996 World Cup. Pakistan opener Aamer Sohail seemed in the form of his life and thrashed one of Prasad’s balls for a resounding boundary, along with making a distasteful gesture. The right-arm seamer responded by knocking his off-stump in the next delivery.
Prasad, whose only ODI fifer also came against Pakistan, commented that he used to feel the most comfortable against Mohammad Azharuddin, who used to throw the ball and set the field according to the bowler’s needs. The 51-year old stated that when the bowler sets the field, it is also his own responsibility to bowl as per that.
“I can be very diplomatic here. I can easily say that ‘look, everybody is different in their own way’. But I was always comfortable when Azhar was the captain because he used to just throw the ball at you and would ask what field do you want. And when I set a field, I own the responsibility to bowl to that field, isn’t it? So that’s how it was,” Prasad said in the Grade Cricketer podcast.
I guess my best performances came when Azhar was the captain: Venkatesh Prasad
Venkatesh Prasad further stated that his best performances for India came along when Azharuddin was the skipper and belonging to nearby states; they knew each other well. Prasad also revealed that they used to play against each other and with one another in the zonal teams; hence, the understanding and rapport were great.
“It wasn’t as if I was not comfortable with Sachin or Ganguly either but I guess my best performances came when Azhar was the captain and that’s how it was. Also, Azhar happens to come from Hyderabad and Karnataka and Hyderabad aren’t very far so we knew each other very well. We used to play against each other, also together when there were zonal teams. So that’s how the rapport and understanding was much better,” he added.