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  5. Mukesh Kumar will be next Mohammed Shami: R Ashwin heaps high praise on 'Junior Lala'

Mukesh Kumar will be next Mohammed Shami: R Ashwin heaps high praise on 'Junior Lala'

Mukesh Kumar, the Bengal pacer who made his debut for India across all formats this year has impressed one and all with his control and was the best bowler for his side in the first T20I against Australia amid all the carnage. R Ashwin meanwhile, has made a huge prediction regarding Kumar.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: November 26, 2023 8:50 IST
Mukesh Kumar, who impressed one and all on the West Indies
Image Source : GETTY Mukesh Kumar, who impressed one and all on the West Indies was India's most economical bowler in the first T20I against Australia

With workload, rest and management of players amid gruelling schedules and frequent injuries becoming a necessity, several youngsters have gotten an opportunity to make their debut and play for India. While many have showcased their talent but only a few have stayed for longer and one of them is young pacer Mukesh Kumar, who made his debut across all formats for India on the very same tour of West Indies in July-August. Mukesh had a good first IPL season with the Delhi Capitals and has impressed in limited opportunities with the national team.

The control which Kumar is revered for was on display on Thursday as well against Australia in the first T20I amid all the carnage in Vizag. Kumar was the most economical bowler for India on that day and if he continues this way, a T20 World Cup spot won't be far even when the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj return. R Ashwin heaped huge praise on Kumar by comparing him to Mohammed Shami, saying he could be Junior Lala (Shami's nickname in the team is Lala).

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said, "I initially thought Mohammad Siraj would become the junior Shami, but I now feel it could be Mukesh Kumar. Shami is called ‘Lala’ and as a tribute to the actor Mohanlal who is called Lalettan, I call Shami Lalettan."

Ashwin elaborated on his claim saying, "Mukesh Kumar has a similar build, similar height, outstanding wrist position – he has that great whip of the wrist and terrific back-spin on the ball. He has a very nice straight and nice alignment. He had bowled really well in the series in the West Indies and was outstanding at a practice game in Barbados."

Ashwin revealed well-mannered boy Kumar's backstory, who was spotted by Waqar Younis at the Cricket Association of Bengal and the latter predicted that he could do some amazing things for India, is playing for the national side and if the early signs are anything to go by he has bright future ahead of him. 

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