Prasanna: ‘In Test cricket, a spinner has to be consistent’

Prasanna is impressed with the young Afghanistan spin attack, but believes Rashid Khan & Co. will need to adapt to the longest format.

Cricketing wisdom flows through Erapalli Prasanna, an off-spinning genius in his time. (File Photo)   -  K. Gopinathan

Cricketing wisdom flows through Erapalli Prasanna, an off-spinning genius in his time. The man who could get the ball to hang in the air, drift, dip and turn, is impressed with the young Afghanistan spin attack, but believes Rashid Khan & Co. will need to adapt to the longest format.

He said to Sportstar on Wednesday, “In the one-dayers and Twenty20 matches, the batsmen attack you and it becomes easier for you to pick wickets. In Test cricket, a spinner has to be consistent, patient and needs to sustain his skill levels over a longer period of time.”

Prasanna pointed out, “If you look at the IPL final, Chennai Super Kings decided to play out Rashid without taking risks and he could not pick up a wicket. When the batsmen play you defensively, like they often do in Tests, you need to both work hard and use your imagination to set them up.”

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The great off-spinner said, “Of course, Rashid is a decent bowler and the main reason for that is his length, which is generally good. He bowls 70 per cent of his deliveries on a length and only 30 per cent are available for the batsman for a possible cut or pull, which is reasonable for a leg-spinner.”

Weighing on what the good length was, Prasanna said, “The length that makes the batsman come forward and reach out for the ball. Once he gets that right, a spinner can work on his variations.”

Prasanna has seen a bit of ‘mystery’ finger spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman too. He said, “He has some ability and has had his moments in Twenty20 cricket. But, I would like to watch him in the longer format, bowl lengthy spells without losing control.”

Test cricket was a different ball game, emphasised Prasanna.