Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin or Sourav Ganguly? Venkatesh Prasad names the best India captain he's played under
- Venkatesh Prasad was asked to name the best captain he played under, and the former India fast bowler was forthright in his answer.
Former fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad may have represented India in not more than 33 Tests, but he holds the record for being India's fifth-highest ODI wicket-taker by a fast bowler. The fast-bowling pair of Prasad and Javagal Srinath was India's most fabled pace duo in the 1990s, achieving great success together. From his debut in 1994 to his last match for India, Prasad wasn't exactly in it for the long haul, but remained an important member of the Indian team.
Prasad wasn't express pace but he was able to do what not many India fast bowlers could back in the day – move the ball both ways along with having a tremendous slower ball. He started his career under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin and finished under Sourav Ganguly, while playing under Sachin Tendulkar as well during his two stints as captain of the Indian team. In a chat with The Grade Cricketer Podcast, Prasad was asked to name the best captain he played under, and the former India fast bowler was forthright in his answer.
"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 on The Grade Cricketer Podcast.
Prasad played under Azharuddin from 1994 to 1996, before Sachin Tendulkar was named captain for the first time. The captaincy shifted between Azharuddin and Tendulkar once more, before finally, in the year 2000, Ganguly was named the new India skipper. Prasad clarified that while he did not face any issues under either Tendulkar or Ganguly, the rapport with Azharuddin was just better due to the history between the two players.
"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," Prasad added.