Manjrekar: India needs a bowling superstar

“I think in India as a country, we are a little more obsessed with batting. That is not the case with Pakistan, for example. When you look at Pakistan starting with Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, so their bowling heroes are revered more.”

Manjrekar: “We have game-changers like (Jasprit) Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar who are winning man of the match or man of the series awards. That’s a nice trend, a different trend.”   -  Vivek Bendre

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels the emergence of a bowling superstar will lead to the bowlers getting their due by the fans.

“I think in India as a country, 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,” Manjrekar said after releasing Spell-binding spells, a book authored by Anindya Dutta. “It just happened that India has somehow produced greatness in sport through batsmanship and not so much from bowling; this is more unique to India, than the rest of the world.”

“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 (Jasprit) 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 better.

“All India needs is one bowling superstar and it’s amazing the effect it will have on younger kids. You have can best academies and infrastructure in the world, but youngsters get inspired by bowling and batting heroes. Cricket inspires young cricketers.”

Lalchand Rajput, the former India opener who is now coaching Assam in the Ranji Trophy, stressed on the bowlers' contribution. “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.”