Prasanth Chandran: Sandeep Warrier, Basil Thampi bowling well for Kerala

Prasanth Chandran, a coach at the MRF Pace Foundation and a former Kerala fast bowler, is happy to see his trainees do well.

Passing the baton: Basil Thampi (right) and Sandeep Warrier (left) with Prasanth Chandran (centre) on Wednesday. Photo: P. K. Ajith Kumar

It has been 15 years since Prasanth Chandran took seven for 71 for Kerala against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Among his victims were Vinod Kambli, Wasim Jaffer, Sairaj Bahutule and Romesh Powar — all Test players.

Prasanth quit first-class cricket five years later, and became a coach. Jaffer, one of the batsmen dismissed by him on that memorable day, was still practising for a Ranji Trophy fixture, not far away from him at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium, Krishnagiri, as Prasanth spoke about his experience of working with some of the finest fast bowlers in the country at the MRF Pace Foundation.

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“I am happy being part of the MRF academy which has played such a big role in the revolution of fast bowling in India,” Prasanth told Sportstar. “If you take the top 15 quicks in India, some seven or eight of them are from MRF,” he pointed out.

Talk of the town

He is glad that some of them, like Ankit Rajpoot and Avesh Khan, are increasingly getting noticed. “Both of them are pretty fast and are excellent prospects. I am also very happy with the way Sandeep Warrier and Basil Thampi have bowled this season for Kerala,” he said.

Warrier and Thampi bowled well together to help Kerala tremendously this season, according to Prasanth. “They are both bowling better than ever. Sandeep has become the talk of the town with his impeccable line and length and the way he is swinging the ball. As for Basil, he has evolved as a much better bowler in the longer format,” he noted.

Sandeep Warrier (in picture) has an "impeccable" line and length, notes Prasanth Chandran. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

 

He said K. M. Asif, another MRF trainee, was unlucky not to have made it to the Ranji Trophy team. “He is probably the quickest Kerala bowler. Fazil Fanoos is another excellent prospect. And I am told there [are] some promising bowlers in the U-19 and U-23 squads as well. Yes, it is great to see so many fine pacers coming out of Kerala,” he said.

‘Excellent grounds’

During his days, too, the State had some good fast bowlers, such as S. Sreesanth and Tinu Yohannan. “But we didn’t have grounds and facilities like this. Now you have excellent grounds in several districts in Kerala,” he said.

Prasanth felt the team did the right thing by opting for seaming tracks for its Ranji Trophy knockout matches. “We never got wickets like the one here in Wayanad; only when we played away, in places like Mumbai, we could bowl on sporting tracks. Kerala’s strength now is fast bowling. So they should play on wickets that give some assistance to pacers,” he opined.