A day before Sunrisers Hyderabad’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders, SRH fast bowling coach Dale Steyn arranged a small Q&A session with his Twitter fans. One of them asked him about who is his inspiration. The South African legend replied: “Umran Malik”
This response – a young uncapped pacer only in his second IPL season is an inspiration for one of the greatest fast bowlers – elicited different types of reactions.
Some loved it, some mocked it, some trolled Umran, some reckoned Steyn said it to give confidence to the SRH pacer who had picked up 3 wickets in 4 matches this season, and has been leaking over 10 runs an over, criticised for being erratic and not able to control the lines and lengths with his extreme pace.
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) April 14, 2022
Come match day – whatever Umran Malik thought of Steyn’s tweet, he surely made the Protea great jump out of his seat and celebrate when he clean bowled KKR captain Shreyas Iyer with a searing yorker.
It was not just the yorker and dismissal in isolation, but it was the setup of Iyer’s dismissal that would have made Steyn proud.
As many would express some sort of surprise, Shreyas Iyer has managed to carve a successful career despite his vulnerabilities – and inabilities – against short balls at high pace well documented.
Brought specifically for Shreyas, Malik exposed that unease of Iyer once again. Iyer was rattled when the 22-year-old Malik hurled down fast – Umran Malik fast – short stuff at him in the 10th over of KKR’s innings.
He almost had Iyer caught and bowl when the batter inside-edged one back of length ball on his pads and it lobbed in the air, but Malik couldn’t reach it in time. A short, rising ball was guided by Iyer to third man for a single. A 147 KPH delivery once again to Iyer who got beaten on pace and could do nothing but swish his bat and cut only air.