As India prepare for a slew of overseas games over the next one year, the availability of the fast bowling armoury is of utmost importance. Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India have seen the rise of many quicks in Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.Former captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that it is all due to India’s first World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev that the country can talk of such high standards of fast bowling. At the launch of Rajdeep Sardesai’s book, ‘Democracy’s XI’, Gavaskar shed light on how Kapil changed the face of Indian cricket.”Today if India talk of such high standards of fast bowling, I think the credit goes only to Kapil Dev because he showed that you can take wickets even in India, bowling quick,” Gavaskar said in the book launch event at Mumbai’s Royal Opera House.Gavaskar said Kapil was the sort of cricketer who got people to the stadiums and it was due to his rise to prominence that cricketers from small towns started to make their mark on the big stage.”Kapil made everyone believe that they can go on to play for India and captain India. Till then the players from metros used to dominate the playing XI and a couple from non-metro states would be included in the squad for namesake but Kapil changed all that. He was a flambouyant cricketer who got crowd in,” Gavaskar shared.Gavaskar added that Kapil playing throughout for Haryana in the Ranji Trophy and still representing India changed things for cricket in India. He credited Kapil for the selection of cricketers from all corners of the country today.advertisement”There were also some odd players who came in from smaller states but they could never really have an impact. Kapil changed it all. Bhishan (Singh Bedi) played for Delhi for a long time even though he started with Punjab but Kapil played for Haryana throughout. Therefore, he was the first sought of non-metro player to have an impact. That is the reason why I say that if today Indian cricket can go and scout and find cricketers from all nooks and corners and not just the metros, it’s only thanks to Kapil.”Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar also shared his warm experience with Kapil in the dressing room and said he took good care of the youngsters.”I remember Kapil Dev was my roommate when I was a young upcoming player in the Indian team. So I had to be at my best behaviour and do whatever Kapil told me to. He would switch off the lights at 10.30pm and told me, ‘Tendlya ab sona hai’ (Tendlya it’s time to sleep), so I would go off to sleep.”And then in the morning we had a 9am departure and that’s when Kapil Dev woke me up at around 8.15am and asked me, ‘Tendlya tere liye chai banaun?’ (Tendlya should I make tea for you). So I would jump up from my bed and I was like no paaji let me make the tea for you. That was his nature. Talking about Kapil paaji taking care fo youngsters, he was very much there for us,” Tendulkar said at the launch of Democracy’s XI in Mumbai.