India’s first World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev on Wednesday hailed the current new ball duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for their brilliance during the death overs. Kapil had a special word for Bumrah’s unorthodox bowling action, which he felt made him a deceptive option for skipper Virat Kohli against any opposition. “When I saw Bumrah for the very first time, I told myself how will this guy play with such an unorthodox action? But I am very impressed with this youngster’s performance and the way how he has cemented his spot in the team,” Kapil told reporters here.

“Twenty years back no coach would even allow players with such unorthodox action in the field. But things have changed. Today it is about that uniqueness and variety which sets players apart,” he added. Kapil also spoke highly of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been the find of the side this season. Pandya has quite often been compared to the legendary Kapil Dev for his all-around abilities but the legend expects the Baroda lad to go a step further than himself.

“We all expect the next generation to be a step further than us. No one expected Sachin (Tendulkar) to break (Sunil) Gavaskar’s records, but then the next generation needs to get something fresh. “Hardik is a real talent and needs to be groomed properly. He has the ability in him to achieve much more than what I have done,” he said. On India’s winless record against the New Zealanders in the shortest version, Kapil hoped that Kohli and his men can break their 5-0 run later in the evening at the Ferozshah Kotla here.

India and New Zealand will face off in the opening game of the three-match T20I rubber later on Wednesday. The match will also mark the end of veteran pacer Ashish Nehra’s illustrious 18-year India career.