One had an emotional outburst. The other chose to display controlled aggression. Despite contrasting reactions to their individual achievements, both the India debutants on Tuesday not only rose to the occasion but also reaffirmed they belonged to the fearless generation of new-age India cricketers.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya and fast bowler M. Prasidh Krishna on Tuesday joined the long list of newcomers taking to international cricket like a duck to water.
Just like a majority of newcomers this season, neither Krunal – who made his ODI debut on the eve of his 30th birthday – nor Prasidh are youngsters. Both have been going through the grind of domestic cricket, the India A circuit and have translated that experience into the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Excelling in the IPL means helps domestic cricketers to not get overawed in the international arena. Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan admitted that distinction in IPL has made modern Indian cricketers a confident lot.
“They are confident because they play so many domestic games and IPL and they share dressing room with big players, play against them. That builds confidence and they feel the same players play international cricket,” Dhawan said after winning his first ODI Man of the Match Award in India since November 2013.
“Also, IPL has some top-notch coaches, so the IPL exposure helps a lot, and our domestic cricket is strong, so it is good mix of the two that’s helping new players perform better.”
Both Krunal and Prasidh displayed their belief in themselves – in terms of skill sets and mental toughness. Krunal came in to bat with less than 10 overs remaining and India in danger of falling way too short of the par score. But the southpaw scored the fastest ODI fifty by a debutant (26 balls) to set a competitive target of 318.
It was followed with an emotional outpour with a teary-eyed Krunal resting in younger brother Hardik’s arms to pay tribute to their father Himanshu who passed away in January.
Early in the chase, Jonny Bairstow targeted Prasidh and used the quickie’s pace of 140 kph+.
When a debutant goes for 22 runs in the third over, seldom can he get his act together in the same match.
When Prasidh returned for his second spell, the Karnataka bowler saw the back of Jason Roy and Ben Stokes in successive overs. When he dismissed Tom Curran off what turned out to be the last ball of the match, Prasidh became the first India pacer to pick four wickets on ODI debut.
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