Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has expressed admiration for Mukesh Kumar’s limited yet impressive outings with the Men in Blue. Initially recognized as adept in red-ball cricket, Mukesh has captured attention for his knack in consistently delivering yorkers. Ashwin envisions the Bengal pacer as a potential successor to Mohammed Shami.
In a video on Ashwin’s YouTube channel, he remarked, “Initially, I believed Mohammad Siraj would follow in Shami’s footsteps, but now I see that potential in Mukesh Kumar. Shami, nicknamed ‘Lala’ in homage to actor Mohanlal known as Lalettan, has a possible successor in Mukesh.”
Describing Kumar’s attributes, Ashwin highlighted his physique, height, exceptional wrist control, and the impressive back-spin he generates. He commended Kumar’s performance in the West Indies series and an exceptional practice game in Barbados.
Ashwin detailed Kumar’s journey from a talent hunt camp in Kolkata, recalling an incident where Kumar almost missed his chance to impress former Pakistan legend Waqar Younis. When Ganguly helmed the Cricket Association of Bengal’s talent hunt, Waqar, along with VVS Laxman and Muttiah Muralitharan, evaluated the prospects.
Kumar, nearly absent when his name was called, eventually showcased his skills at Waqar’s insistence, altering his destiny by earning a spot in the Indian team. In the recent T20I against Australia, Kumar displayed promise with figures of 0/29 in his four overs, further solidifying his case for selection in the upcoming T20 World Cup squad.