Former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad has named the best captain he has played under during a recent chat with Grade Cricketer Podcast. The fast bowler was one of the most feared bowlers during his time. He is the fifth-highest wicket-taker for India in One Day Internationals. With 196 wickets in 161 games, Venkatesh Prasad was an extremely lethal bowler during his time.
His pace partner and Indian spearhead Javagal Srinath ripped apart oppositions with their superb bowling. These two formed one of the best pace duos of India. Venkatesh Prasad was one of the few bowlers who could swing the ball both ways. He played under 3 captains Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, and Sachin Tendulkar.
My best came when Azhar was the captain: Venkatesh Prasad
When he was asked who did he enjoy playing under the most Prasad said that he was most comfortable under former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin. Incidentally, Venkatesh Prasad played most of his cricket under Azharuddin and reached new highs.
“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,” Venkatesh Prasad said on The Grade Cricketer Podcast.
Venkatesh 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.
“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.
Venkatesh Prasad also drew a comparison between the current Indian captain Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. The former India pacer said that the only difference between the two is that Kohli wears his emotion on his sleeves whereas Tendulkar didn’t like to show much emotion.
“They are both brilliant individuals honestly speaking. On one side, Sachin was very soft, and of course, Virat comes out aggressive, but it’s not his nature. It’s just on the field because he wants to win and perform in every single game,” he said.
“So did Sachin. He wanted to do well in every single game. You don’t really see much emotion from Sachin. We never say any, whether he scored a hundred or got out for a duck… whatever. Even when he gets hit, we don’t see much emotion, whereas Virat is someone who likes to express himself,” he added.