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MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi the ‘speed factor’ for pacer Prasidh Krishna

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Indian pacer Prasidh Krishna’s early inspiration to bowl fast came from an unlikely, but perhaps, an apt place.

Growing up, Prasidh watched MotoGP and was influenced by multiple world champion Valentino Rossi, whose performances seeped into the Bengaluru boy’s formative years of playing cricket.

“I used to cycle a lot because our road was a dead end,” Prasidh told the Kolkata team website. “I used to watch a lot of Valentino Rossi back then, so I had followed him a lot. 

“Maybe that's where the speed factor came in because I was, you know, seeing him go so fast. It's so much speed. So that's where my liking for speed came into existence.”

Valentino Rossi is a legend. The Italian racer is a seven-time MotoGP world champion. He won the premier class title in the 500cc in only his second season in 2001 with Honda. It was the first of five straight titles.

During the course, Rossi got the better of his rivals Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi comprehensively and even won championships when he changed teams, moving from Honda to Yamaha.

In recent years, Valentino Rossi’s rivalry was against Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez, both formidable in their challenge.

However, Rossi’s last premier class title came in 2009 although he still races today at the age of 42 for the Petronas Yamaha SRT team.

Prasidh Krishna was just 13 years old when Rossi was last champion.

But from 2001 and 2009, Valentino Rossi took part in 151 races and won 75 of those, which explains the Italian’s influence over a young Prasidh.

“Nobody really advised me in terms of taking up cricket as a career option,” Prasidh pointed out. “It's just that my school coach figured out that I was tall and I was getting the ball to move back. So, the coach is the one who first corrected my running technique, the angle of my running, my loading and all of that.

“By doing all this, I also realised I was getting quicker and better,” added Prasidh, who admires Brett Lee. “I was getting sharper with things. So that is when I realized, OK, there is something with fast bowling. And I always had a liking for fast bowling.”

Prasidh Krishna made his maiden appearance in One Day Internationals against England earlier this month and recorded the best bowling figures for an Indian on ODI debut when he picked up 4/54.

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