Umran Malik, who came into the limelight during the IPL due to his bowling speed while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, bowled with such speed in some matches that even many good batsmen were stunned against him. The yorker who bowled Shreyas Iyer in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders was so fast and accurate that any batsman would go against him. It is because of his bowling that cricketers, from former India coach Ravi Shastri to veteran South African bowler Dale Steyn, have repeatedly said that Umran Malik should be included in Team India. Umran’s speed is such that with playing his first international match, he can get the tag of being the fastest international bowler in India. But is it really time for him to join Team India?
The answer to this question is given by the veteran players who are in favor of including him in the team, saying that maybe not, because all of them agree on one thing that Umran will be useful for Team India only when he will be fast and sharpen his bowling. International cricket requires not only speed but also skills with proper line length. The skills that Jaspreet Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have should be the same. Not just fast bowling but swinging like Irfan Pathan and throwing a slow ball like Bhuvi to get the wicket on him and be reliable in powerplay and death overs like Jaspreet Bumrah. If the merits of any one of these come to Umran, there is no doubt that it will spread as soon as it reaches the international level.
Not only India but almost every team in Asia aspires for a speedstar pacer. Pakistan have had some excellent bowlers from time to time, but no one has been able to perform at the international level for a long time except Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Good pacers like Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamir also came. But his craze was not like Wasim and Waqar. Thus India has been searching for Zaheer Khan for a long time. Now India is likely to get a good pacer in the form of Umran. He can easily throw every ball of the over at a speed of 150-155 kmph. His top speed in IPL 2022 was 157 kph, which became the second fastest delivery ever in the history of the tournament.
Umran is trying to bowl as fast as possible in every match. He is not paying attention to the line length. This is the reason why he has not taken a wicket in the last 3 matches and has been hit a lot. He scored 48 runs in 4 overs against Punjab Kings, 52 runs in 4 overs against Delhi Capitals and 25 runs in two overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Umra has to understand that speed cannot always be a weapon to shock the batsmen. Someone needs to tell them that sometimes the cannon does what the sword does not do. IPL is not only a money making tournament but also a talent hunt show for India. India have got Jaspreet Bumrah and Deepak Chahar from the tournament, while all-rounders like Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya have got one-of-a-kind players. Now that Umran has come from Jammu and Kashmir, the whole country is eager to extend a helping hand.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri repeats the same thing in every match of Sunrisers Hyderabad. Umran Malik is the future of India but he needs training. Akash Chopra and Sunil Gavaskar have also said this. Harbhajan Singh even said that he should be fielded in the T20 World Cup. If Jaspreet Bumrah bowls from one end and Umran Malik from the other, the pair will be very strong for India. If Umran’s craze to become fast and furious i.e. Shoaib Akhtar (the fastest bowler in the world of cricket) does not go away, there are fears that he will ruin himself. And of course, this shining star is currently shining like the sun, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has to keep in mind that it may not be lost in the past as soon as the IPL is over.