Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday said that he would pick Bhuvneshwar Kumar over fellow speedster Mohammed Shami for India’s World Cup match against West Indies on Thursday.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is still fighting to regain full fitness after suffering an injury during India’s high voltage clash against Pakistan. Shami subsequently replaced him and became only India’s second bowler to take a hat-trick in World Cups during their thrilling win over Afghanistan.
Tendulkar reasoned that Kumar had the ability to trouble veteran opener Chris Gayle outside off stump. “It’s a great news for India that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is fit. I have seen his body language which showed that he is really confident,” Tendulkar told Star Sports.
He added, “For the upcoming match between India and West Indies, if I had to choose between Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, I would definitely pick Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The only reason being, Bhuvneshwar Kumar can bowl to Chris Gayle at the outer angle and that is what makes him [Gayle] uncomfortable.
“I still remember how uncomfortable Chris Gayle was when Bhuvneshwar Kumar was bowling at him in the last Test I played.”
Tendulkar, though, acknowledged that the team management would be hesitant to change the winning combination: “I know it will be a little unfortunate for Mohammed Shami but I believe for this game, Bhuvneshwar Kumar should be picked,” he said.
India, unbeaten in the World Cup till now, will take on West Indies at Old Trafford on Wednesday.