The 60s to 70s was a great period for Indian spin bowling and one of its pioneers EAS Prasanna was regarded as one of greatest off spinners to have played the game. An engineering degree student, he left cricket for 4 years after his debut season in 1961-62 to complete his course. Contrary to all expectations, he made a good in comeback the season starting from 1966 and was at his brilliant best in the tours of Australia and New Zealand in 1967-68. In Australia he picked 25 wickets in 4 tests and in New Zealand he took 24 wickets in 4 tests on those twin tours. He continued his mastery over the same opposition in the return home series as well getting a total of 44 wickets in 8 tests. Though he had a bit of inconsistent run in the last 7 years of his test career, he still continued to be a formidable bowler. Ian Chappell in many interviews afterwards hailed Prasanna as the best off spinner he faced , and that coming from a fine player of spin was a big compliment.
Having a nice easy action with minimum effort , his main weapon was his flight who would be above the batter ‘s eyeline and then dip below his eyeline as the batsman shapes to drive thinking it a half volley but the ball actually falling short , that way he used to get lot of his bowled as well as caught and bowled dismissals. Batsmen facing Prasanna needed to have very assured footwork else they can easily fall prey to his flight and guile.
Prasanna took 189 wickets at 30 average in 49 tests with 8/76 his best figures . He took 10 fifers in tests. He was also a handy lower order tailend batsman and used to fight hard when India needed lower order runs .
We wish him great health and happiness on his 80th birthday and let us enjoy 2 of his bowling videos by clicking on the below 2 Twitter video links: