If Lasith Malinga's style of bowling was different but turned out to be unique, it was legendary Kapil Dev who was sceptical about Jasprit Bumrah's long-term survival in international cricket with such an awkward action, but the 1983 World Cup skipper said that he has been proven wrong by the pacer with his spells.
Kapil termed Bumrah a "fabulous" bowler and said the Gujarat pacer has completely changed people's perception about bowlers with his unorthodox action. Kapil believes that Bumrah will stick around long enough for India and praised Kohli's ideology about following a rigid fitness pattern.
"He (Bumrah) is fabulous. When I saw Bumrah for the first time, I thought how would he play with such an awkward action. But this player has changed our thought process," the 1983 World Cup-winning skipper said as media reports suggest.
"And today we feel players with awkward action will play for their country for long," he added.
A stern advocate of fitness, the legendary all-rounder was full of praise for India skipper Virat Kohli for turning the current team as one of the fittest in world cricket.
"Every captain has his thought process. This captain (Virat Kohli) has brought up an idea of fitness in the team and I think we should respect his decision," Kapil said.
"You may be very talented but if you can't take catches and save extra runs for the team, it is of no use. A minimum level of athleticism is required. Yo-Yo test is not something which a player can't clear.
"I was also a fitness freak and it will be unfair if I don't stand by it. I feel fitness to zaruri hai (fitness is important). The message that goes to youngsters is that you have to maintain a certain level of fitness. I support Virat in that, " he said on sidelines of the launch of 'Wonder Cement Saath: 7 Cricket Mahotsav'.
Kapil backed the Indian team management's decision to test young Hardik Pandya in different positions in order to develop him as a fine all-rounder. Pandya has been recently been compared to Kapil Dev as the missing all-rounder that India desired for so long.
"The team management knows better. We can have views sitting outside but they know better. We all want Hardik Pandya to do better. Surely, the team management is thinking something good about him," he said about Hardik, who already has attracted comparisons with Kapil for his exploits in his short, little career.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced a number of changes in playing conditions, which includes a restriction on dimensions of the bat, the introduction of player send-offs for misconduct and changes to the Decision Review System among others, on September 28.
Asked Kapil about the new rules, he said: "The changes in the rules are always introduced for the betterment of the game. There should be changes but rules should be modified as well. Only time will tell the impact of the new rules.
(With PTI Inputs)