With images of Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling in the indoor nets at the stadium in Manchester coming into view, debate has started as to whether he should be brought back into the team or kept out in favour of Mohammad Shami.
Now, Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar has spoken out on the issue and has thrown his weight firmly behind Bhuvi. Speaking on Star Sports during the mid-innings break of the England vs Australia game, Sachin said that while he sympathises with Shami, the fact that Bhuvneshwar was the first choice should lead to him being selected, if fit.
"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 stated in an unequivocal manner.
Going further into his reasons for choosing Bhuvi over Shami, Tendulkar also talked about the greater importance of Kumar for the Indian team because they play against West Indies in their next game, on June 27. "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," the man with 100 international hundreds opined.
During this conversation, the former India captain also talked about the impact India's victory in the 1983 World Cup had on him as a young boy. Today marks the 36th anniversary of the famous final at the same stadium – Lord's – where Kapil Dev-captained Indian team defeated Clive Lloyd's West Indies. Standing next to one of the members of that team, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin said: "When I saw these heroes with the trophy, that's when I felt that I should also one day hold this trophy. So, that's where my cricket journey began as well." Sachin and the whole country would be hoping that Virat Kohli's team repeats the feat this year.