By Sandipan Banerjee
Phoenix was a mythological Arabian bird of great beauty. They say, it burned itself on a funeral pyre, and then rose from its own ashes. The story of 25-year old ‘pace sensation’ from Assam, Krishna Das, is quite similar.
With 119 wickets in 32 First-Class games, Krishna has attracted a lot of eyeballs of late. Especially from last domestic season the right-arm medium pacer has remained at the top of his game. In the recently concluded 2015-16 season he has had 50 wickets from 10Ranji Trophy matches at an incredible average of 16.06. He is the only pacer in the list of top five wicket takers and ranked second in the list of top wicket-takers in Ranji Trophy 2015-16.
However, for Krishna, all these all these achievements were nothing sort of dreams nine years back, when the 16-year old boy met with a serious road accident.
On October 6, 2006, Krishna along with his three friends were returning after taking part in Laxmi Puja celebrations, when their car collided with a truck. The youngster was seriously injured and regained consciousness after 48 hours. His left arm was broken, suffered a bruised nose, lost a teeth a there were 10 stitches on his tongue.
“I thought I wouldn’t be able to step onto a cricket field anymore. But it was the grace of God, my childhood coach Javed Khan and the motivations from our coach Sanath Sir (Sanath Kumar), that I resumed cricket sooner than expected and represented my state in the next season,” Krishna said while talking exclusively with the author.
Though Krishna made his name in the field of cricket, but it was not his first-choice sports while growing up in childhood at Barpeta, a remote town in Assam. “I am a huge football fan. Me along with my three brothers used to play football in our childhood. Though we also played tennis-ball cricket as well. I was 12 when I first played leather-ball game when I went for a district trial,” Krishna recollected from his memories.
Talking more about his early playing days, he further said, “I was selected in the Assam Under-15 in 2004 and took 25 wickets. Next season I was asked to bowl at the senior nets, from where Sanath Sir picked me for the Ranji Team and I made my First-Class debut in 2005-06. At that time I did not even play the Under 17 and Under 19 level. But that was the break I needed.”
Next season he missed due to the unfortunate accident. But he made a comeback in 2006-07 and took 14 First-Class wickets. But he came into the limelight in 2014-15 when his 26 wickets helped Assam to make it to the Quarter-Finals.
In 2015-16 once again Krishna has made it count. He and his new ball partner Arup Das have made life miserable for batsmen and again Assam made it to the last eight stage, this time from an Elite group.
“I have played a lot of cricket with Arup. We know each other’s games. I generally bowl outswing and he is an inswing bowler. This is the reason why we have done well as a pair,” Krishna said while explaining his success mantra.
Meanwhile, despite all this success Krishna is yet to get the national selectors’ nods. He has not represented India A yet, whereas fellow pacers like Brainder Singh, Nathu Singh have grabbed attentions of the men who matter. But for Krishna, these things hardly matter.
“Sanath Sir always tells me to keep my entire focus in my game. So I always think about my line and length rather than selection. Agar performance acchahoga to ek din naekdin to select ho hi jaunga [If my performance is then I will be selected eventually]”, he said. The pacer also has the same opinion about an IPL contract. But he feels he is at his best at this moment and this is the perfect time to pick him.
But unfortunately, he has to wait for the next IPL auction to try out his luck, once again.
(Sandipan Banerjee is a senior correspondent at CRICWIZZ.com. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)