Mumbai: India's legendary off-spinner Erapalli Anantharao Srinivas Prasanna said the most important thing for a spinner is for his captain to have faith in him.
“The most important thing for a spinner is that the captain should have faith in you. He should also be able to correctly assess you as to how good you are as an independent bowler. He has to allow you to bowl your way with your fields,” Prasanna was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.
Prasanna - a part of the iconic spin quartet which also included Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishen Singh Bedi - is considered one of the greatest exponents of off-spin bowling. He played 49 Test matches and picked up 189 wickets at an average of 30.38. But the numbers do not reveal the full extent of his talent.
The 75-year-old spin wizard made it clear that he used to set his own field as bowling to the field set by the captain is like backseat driving to him.
“I set my own fields and I could bowl to my field. I always believed in one thing - the captain is there but as a bowler you have to set your own field, otherwise it becomes like backseat driving. If you bowl to the field set by the captain, that means you are sacrificing your line of thinking,” he said.
“As a spinner it is imperative that one bowls length as he is unlikely to get wickets if he bowls short. Once you bowl length, you can spice it up with all the other variations and subtle elements.”
Speaking about his chemistry with then India captain Mansour Ali Khan Pataudi, Prasanna said, “With MAK Pataudi, once I set my field, he knew exactly what I was trying to do. He knew what ball was coming up next. There was an unspoken understanding between us. All the other aspects like setting up a batsman or making subtle changes in the field come when you share that kind of understanding with the captain.”