With the video of Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling in the indoor nets at the Old Trafford in Manchester coming into view, the debate has started as to whether he should be brought back into India’s playing XI or kept out in favour of Mohammed Shami.
Now, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has spoken out on the issue and has thrown his weight firmly behind Bhuvneshwar.
Speaking on Star Sports during the mid-innings break of the England vs Australia game, Tendulkar said that while he sympathises with Shami, the fact that Bhuvneshwar was the first choice should lead to him being picked against West Indies.
“I feel sorry for Shami but I would pick Bhuvneshwar Kumar because he was the first choice seamer coming into the tournament. So, if he is fit, I would go with him,” the Master Blaster opined.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 25, 2019
Going further into his reasons for choosing Bhuvneshwar over Shami, Tendulkar also talked about the importance of Kumar for Virat Kohli-led India because they had to deal with Windies swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle in their next game, on Thursday.
“I would pick Bhuvneshwar, especially against West Indies because Chris Gayle, I feel you need someone to take the ball away from him and Bhuvneshwar is better at that,” Tendulkar reasoned.
India are currently placed third on the league table of the tournament with four wins out of five matches. Their game against New Zealand was washed out due to rain. On the other hand, West Indies are placed eight on the table and are out of the tournament. They have won only one match and lost four out of six games whereas one of their matches was also washed out due to rain.