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Umran Malik: The rapid IPL debutant who Kane Williamson thinks is ‘special’


Umran Malik had played only two games at the highest level, and was largely unknown in the cricketing circles. All of that changed when the Sunrisers Hyderabad gave him a chance on October 3.

“Umran, yeah, he is a special talent,” Kane Williamson, the SRH captain, spoke after the game against KKR. “I suppose one of the silver linings of being where we are, which is certainly not desirable but we have been able to expose a number of younger players, and as you’ve seen the talent in India is immense. There are so many young guys ready to go out and get some experience”. He continued discussing the youngster from Jammu & Kashmir, “Umran is something special. It was great, he could get a run tonight. Fantastic opportunity for him.”

The little-known Malik was playing in only his third competitive game across formats, and impressed many by constantly scorching up the speed-gun on a night SRH had little else to be pleased about. In all his speeds pushed around the late 140 kph mark, and twice he managed to breach the 150 kph barrier.

He ended with the figures of 0-27 in his four overs, which might seem unimpressive to some. But his bowling kept the KKR batters in a tight leash, and his pace lit up the game. For someone brought in as a short-term Covid-19 replacement for T. Natarajan, Malik not only gave a decent performance for his side, but also became the center of attention because of his special attribute – raw pace.

KKR batter Nitish Rana looked especially troubled by his extra speed. He scored only one off the 12 balls he faced against the the young fast bowler.

India’s rich bowling reserves are visible for all to see during the IPL, where even the likes of Chetan Sakariya, Avesh Khan, and Harshal Patel, who aren’t a part of the Indian setup yet, have impressed one-and-all. Still, there’s something about the raw and lively pace of an out-and-out speedster which catches everyone’s attention.

Parvez Rasool, his J&K captain who has also represented India, was all praise for him. He told PTI, “He is a very talented boy. When I played him in the nets, he was quick.”

Further, he theorised how like Jasprit Bumrah, Umran, too had been benefited by playing tennis-ball cricket, “The light weight of the tennis ball means that to generate pace, you need extra effort. This kid developed strength and pace by playing tennis ball that he would play in and around Jammu.”

He added that Umran came from a humble background, had little formal coaching in his formative years, and credited the SRH management for working on this raw talent.

His coach, Randhir Singh Manhas, told Sportstar, how the young talent, despite little game time, managed to impress many in the domestic circuit. He also added, how it was Irfan Pathan’s arrival as a mentor which turned it around for Umran.

Irfan Pathan had this to say about Umran, “What struck me was his pace, but back then, he would jump out a lot. So, we had to work a bit on his bowling action. That helped him gain control and it benefitted his bowling.”

Pathan added that all credit needs to go to the young bowler, for working hard on his bowling. He also mentioned how even David Warner struggled against the youngster’s pace in the SRH nets. Pathan said that Umran was very much a work-in-progress but also that he was a genuine talent.

His on-field performance on debut, drew a lot of attention on the social media.

Proud moment for jnk cricket. Go well boy #umranmalik

— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 3, 2021

Umran Malik traveled to UAE as SRH net bowler, added to squad replacing T Natarajan, and made his IPL debut same season.

Natarajan himself traveled to Australia as India net bowler, added to squad replacing Varun C, and made his Test, ODI and T20I debut same tour.#IPL2021

— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) October 4, 2021

Umran Malik…impressive first over and has already bowled the fastest ball by an Indian in #IPL2021

— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 3, 2021

Umran Malik #SRH on #IPL debut – speeds
145 142 150 147 143 142
141 136+ 147 145 143 133 145+ 142
144 142 147 140 145 151
141 142 144 143 150 147


— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) October 3, 2021

Good to see a young man like Umran Malik with some serious pace about him.

— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 3, 2021

Umran Malik Will be hot property in the next IPL auction. Lot to like in this young man. #IPL2021

— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) October 4, 2021

The post Umran Malik: The rapid IPL debutant who Kane Williamson thinks is ‘special’ appeared first on Wisden.

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