Umran Malik should be on India’s test squad, says former Indian selector Saba Karim

Umran Malik became famous after tormenting batters in the IPL 2022 with lightning bolts regularly coming in at 150 km/h or more while bowling for Jammu and Kashmir.

Amazingly, in the 14 IPL games he played last year, he won all 14 awards for fastest delivery of the match. Many have said that he should be included in the Indian senior team soon because of his ability to evoke sheer speed. However, others have reservations about speeding up this procedure.

Umran Malik has that rare quality of pace: Saba Karim

Umran Malik (Image Credit: Twitter)

Saba Karim, a former Indian wicketkeeper batter and national selector, supported Umran’s rapid inclusion in the Indian senior team while guesting on Sportscast, a sports podcast produced by the Times of India.

IND vs ENG: Umran Malik should be on India's test squad, says former Indian selector Saba Karim

“Umran Malik has that rare quality of pace. You can add more variety, more control and more discipline to his bowling – which will happen – this kind of speed you have never seen in the Indian setup. When we have someone like him, what are we waiting for?

If you ask me, I’d get him on the test crew. Just play him as he has 2-3 years experience in first class cricket plus IPL which means he is not raw,” Saba Karim had said on TOI Sportscast.

The current selection committee seems to agree, and Umran, who was also an Indian net bowler for the 2021 T20 World Cup, received his first cap on the two-T20 tour of Ireland less than a month after the closing of the IPL 2022.

Umran Malik’s 2022 so far

Let’s take a quick look at Umran’s IPL stats from the 2022 season and then compare it to what he has accomplished so far for India in the three T20 Internationals he has competed in so far.

Umran played all 14 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022 which held him up for auction for a price of Rs 4 Crore. The ripping fast bowler averages 20.18 with 22 wickets in his second IPL season. His economy was above average at -9.03 and his best numbers were 5-25. In the last IPL season, he got two 4-wicket-hauls and one 5-wicket-haul.

Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik
Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik. (Photo: Twitter)

Umran has performed remarkably well for the Indian squad, in stark contrast to his IPL reputation. He made his international debut in the T20I series of two games against Ireland in June. He only threw one left in the first game, in which he gave up 14 runs without taking a wicket.

Umran, a 22-year-old pacer, scored 1-42 in game two after substitute skipper Hardik Pandya gave him his full allotment of 4 overs. He took four fours, two sixes and three wide balls besides being punched.

The third T201 game against England in Nottingham, which the hosts won by 17 runs, was his third appearance wearing the India blue shirt. Umran once again threw his allotted four overs in this game, but this time he only managed to take one wicket while giving up 56 runs. He had a 14 economy rating. He was hammered for six fours, three sixes and three wide balls.

Umran Malik needs time: Anjum Chopra

Umran Malik (Image Credit: Twitter)
Umran Malik (Image Credit: Twitter)

Anjum Chopra, former captain of the Indian cricket team, was a guest on the Times of India’s sports podcast Sportscast earlier this year. He discussed how participating in the IPL and representing India internationally are very different and how Umran should be given time to fully develop his abilities before making an India debut.

“Wearing an orange and black sweater is different from wearing an Indian blue sweater, totally different. The setting is completely different. Give the player plenty of time to realize his talent.

Let him travel (with the India team), but to say he is the future of Indian cricket – yes, he is a future – but let’s not put all the eggs in the same basket. Grow the player well so that he can sustain himself when he actually gets to the next level.” Anjum had said on TOI Sportscast.

Umran Malik has something others don’t: Aakash Chopra

Umran is without a doubt a highly unique skill. Bowling at the kind of speeds he produces requires an innate skill that cannot be developed. Aakash Chopra, a former cricketer for India, recently expressed a similar opinion on his YouTube channel.

“Umran Malik has something that others don’t: extreme pace. You can’t teach that to anyone. You can learn everything else – line and length, yorker, bouncer, slower. But you can’t teach someone how to bowl quickly. You’re either born to be a pacer or born to be an average pacer… He definitely has the pace.

But what I feel is that Umran Malik is not ready for international cricket at the moment. It’s very simple, he needs time. He hasn’t played much cricket, so he’s still raw.” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

Umran Malik
Umran Malik. Image: BCCI/Twitter

Umran is lucky to be 22 years old. Fortunately, he is not a late discovery. Everyone is aware of his unusual talent thanks to the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who saw it when he was a net bowler before them and recognized it, and the platform the IPL provides. Umran recorded a speed of 157 km/h during an IPL 2022 match against the Delhi Capitals.

Another school of thought is that Umran should be given a chance in Test cricket rather than being pushed like a T20I bowler at the moment.

But based on what we have seen of the speed phenomenon so far, the Indian team management and selectors will no doubt be aware that giving him the time and space to develop as a cricketer before releasing him full time as an Indian player, would be the best choice. most sensible course of action.

Of course it is essential to closely monitor Umran’s development and ensure that he is not overlooked among the many other young fast bowlers who rise through the ranks.

Also Read: IND vs ENG: There was some movement of the seam so I wanted to take advantage of that: Jasprit Bumrah on 6-wicket Haul

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