Ahead of their five-Test tour of England, India have their "most complete" pace attack in a long time, according to Sachin Tendulkar. He is particularly enthused by the variety within the fast-bowling group.
"This is the most complete fast-bowling attack that India have had in many many years. In my assessment, this attack would go as one of the best," Tendulkar told PTI. "We have the luxury where we have a swing bowler (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), a tall bowler (Ishant Sharma), a skiddy bowler (Jasprit Bumrah) and a genuine quick bowler (Umesh Yadav).
"It is a nice combination to have with so much variation on offer."
The batting ability of Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Tendulkar felt, would help balance India's line-up.
"The current India team is constantly looking at seamers who can contribute with the bat big time," he said. "I think these two guys have contributed crucial runs every now and then.
"Hardik has just got into the side but I think Bhuvi contributing brilliantly and that contribution changes the balance of the team in a positive manner.
"It's good to have batsmen who can bowl four-five overs but even better if we have bowlers who can score those crucial runs. The kind of contributions that can help you move forward."
In a separate interview with Mumbai Mirror, Tendulkar also elaborated on his view that two new balls in ODI cricket was a recipe for disaster.
"The point I am trying to make is the rule was introduced to help the bowlers upfront and also prevent discolouring of the ball," he said. "I felt the surfaces we're playing on are not helping the bowlers to swing. Neither have I seen swing up front nor have I seen reverse swing later. It's kind of, we're caught in-between.
"The ball doesn't get old enough to reverse. The bowlers' hands are tied in the death overs. Earlier, the bowlers heavily relied on reverse swing; they had something to look forward to once the ball started getting scuffed up. Right now, with two new balls, that is not happening. Reverse swing has always been an integral part of cricket, both in Tests and ODIs. Since the introduction of two new balls, one has not seen the ball reverse. That element has been taken away from the game. It's not healthy."
Tendulkar said the ODI series between England and Australia - in which England racked up three 300-plus scores including a world-record 481 for 6 at Trent Bridge - showed how much the combination of two new balls and flat pitches affected the balance between bat and ball.
"This series reiterates my point," he said. "If you see, the amount of swing the bowlers get off the surface has not been adequate, considering that they are playing with two new balls. When there is no help from the surfaces, even four new balls will not help the bowlers. If you want to have two new balls, then the surface provided must help the bowlers up front. The grounds over a period of time have become greener. As a result, the ball doesn't get scuffed up. The ball retains its lacquer."