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B. K. Venkatesh Prasad Biography

B.K. Venkatesh Prasad is a former Indian Test and ODI player. Nicknamed ‘Venky’ by teammates and fans alike, he proved himself to be formidable bowling force and significant member of the Indian team. His full name is Bapu Krishnarao Venkatesh Prasad and he was born on August 5, 1969 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The major teams that Prasad represented are India and Karnataka.

The tall and lanky structure of Venkatesh Prasad complimented his versatile medium pace bowling. A right-arm fast medium bowler ideal during the slog overs of an innings, Prasad was more devastating on the pitches abroad, than at home.

He was renowned more for his deceptive variation of pace, effective seam movement producing swing, superb leg-cutters and accurate yorkers, than pace. Venkatesh Prasad has opened the bowling for India along with his Karnataka teammate, Javagal Srinath, where the pace duo were both reckoned as being amongst the best Indian new ball attack bowlers, proving lethal against their international opponents.

After playing first-class cricket for Karnataka, B.K. Venkatesh Prasad was then selected to play for India, where he made his Test debut against England at Birmingham, in June 1996. Since then, Prasad has played in 33 Tests taking 96 wickets, with his Test career best of 6/33 against Pakistan, including a spell of five for zero, in the 1999 Test series in Chennai, India.

Besides several five-wicket hauls abroad, his other noted Test wicket takings include his 10 wicket haul against South Africa in December 1996, at Durban. Venkatesh Prasad made his One Day International debut against New Zealand at Christchurch, in April 1994. Since then he has played in 161 ODIs taking 196 wickets, including the 1996 and 1999 Cricket World Cups, playing 14 matches and taking 17 wickets, with his ODI best being 5/27.

A memorable moment that displayed the composure and confidence of Prasad came in the 1996 Cricket World Cup quarter-final against Pakistan, when after being hit for a six by batsman Aamir Sohail and then being ridiculed by his challenging gestures with the bat, Prasad clean bowled Sohail the very next ball.

Prasad’s promising international career came to a sudden close when he was dogged by injury and poor form, leading to his dropping from the team after the Sri Lanka Test series in 2001.

Prasad then secured two Ranji Trophy championships with Karnataka, trying in vain to make a comeback to the national side, he retired from cricket altogether in May 2005. Since then, he started coaching the India Under-19 Cricket team that finished runners-up in the 2006 U-19 Cricket World Cup.

Besides being a cricket commentator, his coaching career also seems bright, as he is doing well, presently coaching the Karnataka state cricket team and being recently appointed the bowling coach for Team India in their upcoming Bangladesh Tour in May 2007.