Former India batsman VVS Laxman on Sunday (October 29) credited the bowlers in Virat Kohli-led Indian team for their "sensational" effort in the 2-1 win over New Zealand in the three-match ODI series. However, the 42-year-old picked Sourav Ganguly's bowling unit at the World Cup 2003 as the country's best ever.
Laxman added that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are "the best in the world" but admitted he would need more time to assess the performances of young spinners in Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
Bumrah (3 for 47) and Chahal (2 for 47) were brilliant in the series-decider between India and New Zealand in Kanpur on a day when big names, including Trent Boult and Bhuvneshwar were taken to the cleaners.
While Rohit Sharma and skipper Kohli hit tons to take India to 337 in a high-pressure game, Bumrah and Chahal made sure the spirited New Zealanders fell short of the target by six runs.
The Mumbai Indians (MI) pacer was brilliant both with the new ball and at the death as he played a key role in halting the visitors' charge when they just needed 35 off the last four overs. On a track where slow balls were hit outside the park, Bumrah resorted to yorkers, the all-surface weapon of a fast bowler.
"[India have a ] very good attack. Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah are sensational with the new ball and at the death, probably the best attack in the world," Laxman said during the post-match television show on "Star Sports".
He added: "But somehow I feel that the bowling line-up that India had in 2003 World Cup was sensational. You had Javagal Srinath, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan - three excellent exponents of the new ball and they were good at the death as well. Harbhajan and Anil Kumble as two spinners were great.
"I still would want to give more time to the spinners. Axar and Kuldeep have to still evolve. Chahal was good. When you are bowling against high quality opposition, you will be tested. But the more matches they play in such conditions, they will improve."
Notably, Khan, Srinath and Nehra with 18, 16 and 15 wickets respectively played a key role in taking Ganguly's Team India to the final of the World Cup in South Africa. The team agonisingly finished second best in the final after Australia captain Ricky Ponting hit a title-winning century.
'Bowlers are winning matches'
Meanwhile, New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris, who was present with Laxman on the TV show, shed light on how variety in the bowling attack is working in India's favour. The 42-year-old also heaped praise on "gun all-rounder" Hardik Pandya for adding balance to the side.
"It [Indian bowling unit] is probably as good as I have ever seen. It doesn't have a weakness. You have got wrist-spin covered, finger-spin covered. You have got the gun all-rounder in Hardik Pandya, which India have been missing for a long, long time since Kapil Dev. India now have got two fast bowlers, best death and opening bowlers in the world. It has never been the case," Styris said.
"India bowlers are winning games, it's never been the case. In the past, it was the top-order. But the bowlers are doing it now, and doing it in every single match," he added.