West Indies batting Brian Lara was effusive in praise for Umran Malik, the young Sunrisers Hyderabad who has stormed the IPL with his extreme pace, and added that Malik reminded him of veteran speedster Fidel Edwards.
Malik bowled the second-fastest delivery ever recorded in the IPL, clocking 156.9 KPH. The 22-year-old from Jammu&Kashmir has taken 21 wickets in 13 matches at an average of 20. Though he’s been on the expensive side, experts have reckoned with Malik’s high pace the vulnerability of leaking runs will come as well.
While comparing Malik with Edwards, Brian Lara, who is with SRH as their batting coach, strongly feels that the youngster will soon play for India.
“Umran Malik reminds me a lot about Fidel Edwards when he first started, a lot of pace and I hope that he understands it as he goes into international cricket, which I think he’ll eventually play,” Lara said on ‘Cricket Live’ on Star Sports.
Further, former India coach Ravi Shastri, suggested the selectors and the Indian team management keep Umran Malik in the loop and take him with them even if he doesn’t make his India debut. Shastri explained that the more time Malik will spend with senior pacers like Shami and Bumrah, the more quickly he will learn about bowling at the highest level.
“(BCCI) Central contract straightaway. Don’t let him float around, keep him in the mix with the main players. Then he learns by being around the Shamis and Bumrahs and see the way they train, see the way they manage their workload. Of course, the team management and support staff will be there. But don’t let him go astray. Keep him in the mix. I think he’ll get better and better,” Shastri told ESPNcricinfo.
Many fans and experts have raised concern about Malik going awry with his line and length control because of his high pace. Shastri has an answer to those.
“You don’t want him to cut down on pace. The last thing you’d want to tell him is while looking for control you cut down on pace. What you want him to do is get his lines right. If he can attack the stumps by constantly varying his length, he will trouble anyone,” the former India coach asserted.
The Indian selection panel, led by Chetan Sharma, will meet on Sunday (May 22) to pick the squads for the upcoming home T20I series against South Africa. It will be interesting to see whether Malik gets his maiden India call-up.