Umran Malik lit up IPL 2022 with his sheer speed, taking 22 wickets for SRH in 14 games.© BCCI/IPL
SunRisers Hyderabad star Umran Malik received his maiden call-up to the Indian team after being named in the 18-member squad for the five-match T20I home series against South Africa. Malik set the stage alight in IPL 2022, troubling the opposition batters with his express pace. His performances for SRH this season led to calls for him to be fast-tracked into the Indian team and the selectors didn’t disappoint. Speaking about his inclusion in the India squad, former coach Ravi Shastri said that if Umran Malik is bowling well in the nets, the team might decide to “unleash him at the earliest” against the South Africans.
“I think the association with the Indian team is absolute right. He can be groomed properly. On current form, they might just play him. If he is bowling well in the nets and doing the right things, they might unleash him at the earliest against South Africa,” Shastri said on ESPNcricinfo show ‘T20 Time Out’.
Umran Malik ended the IPL 2022 league stage as the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. With SRH failing to make it to the playoffs, the tearaway pacer will not get a chance to add to his tally of 22 wickets.
Malik was well ahead of SRH teammates T Natarajan (18 wickets) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (12). His economy rate, though, will be an area where the pacer would want to improve. He ended the tournament with an economy rate of 9.03.
But even with the high economy rate, Umran Malik showed great control despite consistently touching speeds upwards of 150kmph.
Apart from Umran, even left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh got his maiden India call-up for the series against South Africa. Kl Rahul is set to captain the side, with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah rested.
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