At a recent event, former Sri Lankan bowling legend Chaminda Vaas clearly stated that comparing Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar wasn’t too appropriate. Vaas stated that both the batsmen were great in their own ways and comparing them wasn’t correct, as they played in different eras. In his interview with Cricbuzz, Vaas also spoke about Ishant Sharma and India’s latest pace sensation, Jasprit Bumrah. Below, are the excerpts from his interview.
You bowled a lot to Sachin Tendulkar. Do you find any similarities between him and Virat Kohli?
It’s difficult to compare cricketers from different eras. Sachin is the No. 1 Indian cricketer – he made more than 15,000 runs in Tests. Virat is still getting there. If you look back to those days, Sachin also scored heavily. Virat is batting brilliantly in T20 cricket. A few years ago, you’d think 30 was a good score in T20 cricket, but he’s showing100s can be scored regularly. He’s a genius -a person who has immense self-belief, courage, and brilliance, who is proving that he’s a better player each day.
How would you have bowled to him given a chance?
It’s not easy to bowl to guys like him and Sachin. You couldn’t keep Sachin quiet. You had to bowl in good areas to him, and try and get him out as quickly as possible. In Virat’s case, the way he bats, it’s difficult to find a weakness. He `hides’ his weak areas by being positive in shot-making. You’ve to be lucky to get his wicket early. You’ve to look to bowl dot balls to him and create pressure. When that happens, you may get him. He’s a modern-day great.
Why could Ishant Sharma not become the pace spearhead India was looking for?
When Ishant started out, I thought he would surpass Javagal Srinath. The amount of cricket he is playing has put him under enormous pressure. He has to adapt to different versions of the game as the lengths are different. He can be a good Test bowler. He has to improve and must motivate himself to have the right attitude towards the game. One day, he’ll be like Srinath.
Do you think Jasprit Bumrah will come good in Tests?
He’s a good limited overs bowler, but you need the experience to play Tests. You can’t judge a bowler in ODIs and T20s. It takes different skills to succeed in Tests. You’ve to survive for five days and it’s hard work. Fast bowling is all about working hard and playing the longer version without injury.