“Every International Team Will Want Him”: Legend’s Big Praise For Umran

Umran Malik has picked 15 wickets in 11 matches in the IPL 2022 for SunRisers Hyderabad.© BCCI/IPL

Umran Malik‘s rise has been the story of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. The speedster from Jammu and Kashmir has been breathing fire for SunRisers Hyderabad. He has been regularly clocking above 150kmph. The 22-year-old also bowled the fastest delivery of the IPL 2022 with a 157kmph screamer in a match against Delhi Capitals. In 11 matches, he has picked 15 wickets, including a five-wicket haul against table-toppers Gujarat Titans, which is the first side to book their berth in the play-offs this season.

Malik’s performance has led many to believe that he should be fast-tracked into the Indian cricket team, especially with the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia in six months’ time. South African pace legend and SRH bowling coach Dale Steyn that the time is ripe to induct him into the national team.

“He is an all-out fast bowler. Some of the stats—above 90 per cent of his deliveries are around 142 to 145kmph—tell you he is looking for pace all the time. This makes batters think differently in the way they approach him and where they score off him. That is the reason he has picked up wickets. The message to him is to keep things simple. [Just] stay straight, look to attack the stumps, use the bouncer, be smart when you want to change pace, and bowl to your field,” Steyn said in an interview to The Week.

“How India uses him is up to them, but he is certainly capable of playing international cricket. One guy bowling 150kmph consistently; I think every international team will want him. How and where you use him is critical.”

The challenge for Malik, however, will be to avoid injury, feels Steyn. “[No need to] try anything too different, stick to what you know and what works for you. The moment you start introducing different things to your body, maybe in the gym or in the bowling action, that is when injuries sneak in. For him, it is about managing what he does,” Steyn said.

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