“Where is Umran Malik?” This slogan was trending heavily on social media as soon as Rishabh Pant, India’s interim-interim skipper, announced the playing eleven for the first T20I match versus South Africa at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi, on Thursday.
Umran Malik was rested for 1st T20I
The eleven didn’t include Umran Malik, India’s pace sensation who is coming off a breakthrough IPL season where, bowling for Sunrisers Hyderabad, he picked up 22 wickets in 14 matches including a stunning five-wicket haul versus eventual champions Gujarat Titans.
In the tournament, he also clocked 157 KPH marker, the fastest delivery bowled by an Indian in the IPL. On the back of his sizzling tournament, the 22-year-old from Jammu&Kashmir received his maiden India call-up.
He then took the social by storm a couple of days before the first T20I when he bowled at 163.3 KPH in the net session which led to head coach Rahul Dravid terming him an “exciting” talent.
However, now, with so much hype and excitement around Malik, his exclusion from the playing eleven has left many fans puzzled and angered. India opted for Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Avesh Khan as the three pacers along with Hardik Pandya.
Here are some of the reactions of the enraged fans who are unhappy with Umran Malik’s exclusion from India’s eleven:
@starniadugu Why Umran Malik Is Not Playing After Taking 22 Wickets In Ipl
— Bhoom Reddy (@bhoom_reddy16) June 9, 2022
Sabse bekar team..umran Malik has to play
— subhashis kar (@subhashis12) June 9, 2022
Where Is Umran Malik The X Factor Who Delivered 163.7 KPH in nets.
Everyone Keep Talking About the Raw Pace of Umran Today On the Bench. Brief Answer India Want To Start Series On Winning Note & with Their Best Combination 💯👍
— King khan (@Kingkha05301776) June 9, 2022
— Harshit Tambi (@HarshitTambi5) June 9, 2022
Where is Umran Malik!!!! #INDvSA
— vineet jacob (@JacobVineet) June 9, 2022
— Arav Choudhary (@iaravchoudhary) June 9, 2022
— Soumitr (@khare_soumitra) June 9, 2022
153.1ks From Nortje
Missing Umran Malik here 🥺
— Harsha Royal (@iHarshaRoyal) June 9, 2022
Umran Malik should have played Today
— VK ☁️ (@Suprvirat) June 9, 2022
— M. VALIVITTA AYYANAR (@M_VALIVITTAN) June 9, 2022
— श्री राम Sagar సులేషన్ (@SagarSurampudi) June 9, 2022
— Nikhil Ram (@Nikhil_Rams) June 9, 2022
Indian pacer Umran Malik should have got a chance
— Prashant Petkar (@PrashantPetka13) June 9, 2022
With no #UmranMalik, I seriously lost the interest to watch the game and I think I'm not the only one. This indian team looks like another IPL team.
— Rakshitha💫 (@MarinaSyren) June 9, 2022
Where is #Umran_Malik 😡😏
— Brahmaiah Yadav Simbotula🇮🇳 (@Brahmaiahyadav) June 9, 2022
Not possible to give everyone playing XI time: Rahul Dravid
Ahead of the series, though, head coach Rahul Dravid had hinted that Umran Malik are unlikely to play in the first few matches of the series, as the management needs to be “realistic” in giving chances to other pacers who were with the team before Malik.
In the pre-series press conference, Rahul Dravid said, “Yeah, it is exciting. He certainly bowled quick and with pace. Obviously, he is learning. He is a young boy and he is getting better, improving. The more he is able to play, the better he is going to get. From our, perspective, very happy to have someone like him in the mix.
“We have to see how much playing time we can give him, we need to be realistic, we have a large squad, it is not possible to give everyone playing XI time. I think I am certainly someone who likes to have that consistency, give people time and let him feel settled in the positions.”