IND vs SA: Venkatesh Prasad wants India's batsmen to score 300 plus
Key to hitting the right notes on forthcoming South Africa tour is batsmen giving bowlers enough runs to bowl at, reckons ex-India bowling coach and current chief junior selector, Venkatesh Prasad
Former India seamer and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad wants Team India's batsmen to give their bowlers enough runs to bowl at during the forthcoming Test tour to South Africa. "I have always felt that the batsmen need to put up big scores for the bowlers to bowl freely. You need to post over-300 scores and that's what we should be looking at. The bowlers will then have the freedom to express themselves," Prasad, the national junior selection committee chief, told mid-day yesterday. Virat Kohli's Indians play the opening Test in Cape Town from January 5. The Bangalore-based former swing bowler was part of Sachin Tendulkar's team to South Africa in 1996-97 when SA won the series 2-0. Prasad claimed 10 wickets in the opening Test at Durban (5-60 and 5-93) but India lost by huge margin of 328 runs.
India's captain Virat Kohli celebrates his double century against Sri Lanka in Nagpur recently. Pic/PTI
Prasad was confident of a good showing from the current batsmen. "The ball comes on to the bat [well] for them to play their shots and most of our batsmen like to play shots. Also, the bounce is even. It's important for them to put good scores on board — not just decent — but good scores to allow the bowlers to bowl freely," said Prasad, 48. Asked what tips he would give the bowlers to bowl on bouncy wickets the experienced bowler, Prasad, who played 33 Tests and 161 ODIs, said: "There may not be bouncy tracks. You may surprised to encounter good batting tracks as well."
India's bowling attack has a good look to it with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. "They are all experienced and have the variations. I am sure they will do well. The spinners have to assess the conditions and if it is not helping the spinners, the best they can do is to make sure they create pressure like what Anil Kumble and others did when we played abroad," said Prasad.
Prasad, who claimed 96 wickets in Tests and 196 in ODIs, is very impressed with the way Virat Kohli leads from the front. "The Indian team are ready to face any challenge or any opposition on any conditions. They have a wonderful captain who leads from the front, who scores runs in any given conditions and against any opposition on any venue. So I don't think the rest of the players could ask for anything better than Kohli leading a team. "Secondly, this team has got depth in batting, bowling and they are an outstanding fielding side. Their fitness levels have risen and they are all hungry to do well abroad. I am quite confident of their success on the South Africa tour," Prasad added.
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