Sanjay Manjrekar has praised the new trend of emerging bowlers as game-changers for India but also underlined the need of a "bowling superstar" who can inspire the young generation. He has also added that the hype around batting heroes has resulted in youngsters being more obsessed with batting.
The former Indian batsman felt that emergence of a bowling superstar will help the bowlers get more admiration from the fans. He compared the situation with Pakistan who
"All India needs is one bowling superstar and it will have amazing (impact) effect on younger kids. You have best academies and infrastructure in the world, but youngsters get inspired by bowling and batting heroes. Cricket inspires young cricketers," the 52-year-old right-handed batsman said as quoted by PTI.
"In India, we are a little more obsessed with batting. That is not the case with Pakistan, for example. When you look at Pakistan, superstars are mostly bowlers, starting with Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis. So their bowling heroes are revered more.
"India has somehow produced greatness in sport through batsmanship and not so much from bowling. It is up to the fans to start making heroes out of bowlers and I think that is starting to happen now.”
"We have game-changers like Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar who are winning Man-of-the-Match or Man-of-the-Series awards. That's a nice trend, a different trend, but at the end of the day, it's the fans who have to embrace who their hero is. They like batsmen more," said Manjrekar after releasing ‘Spell-binding spells’, a book authored by Anindya Dutta.
Manjrekar played 37 Tests and 74 ODIs for India in which he scored 2043 and 1994 runs respectively. The right-hand batsman, who has faced many top-quality international bowlers, praised young spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and the overall confidence that the current crop of bowlers
"What strikes me about (Yuzvendra) Chahal's bowling, I have never seen a bowler in a T20 on a flat pitch, have the courage to ball in the zone where the batsman will usually hit it for a six, but he does that and he backs himself. It's amazing that the new generation, the kind of confidence that they have," added Manjrekar.
The former India batsman Lalchand Rajput also echoed the same sentiment stating that the role of bowlers was crucial as only by claiming 20 wickets can a game be won.
"As Sanjay said earlier, in India, it is the batsmen who get predominantly known. Like Sanjay, I too looked up to Sunil Gavaskar and wanted to be like him. I always believe bowlers win you matches, you have got to take 20 wickets and that is the bowlers' job," said Lalchand, a former Mumbai opening batsman.