IND vs SA: Will Umran Malik Make His Debut In The First Match?

Jammu & Kashmir tearaway fast bowler Umran Malik recieved his maiden India call-up, for the upcoming 5-T20I series against South Africa, starting June 9 in Delhi. However, going by head coach Rahul Dravid pre-series press conference on Tuesday, the 22-year-old is unlikely to play in the first match.

Malik had his breakthrough IPL season – only in his second year in the tournament – as he snapped up 22 wickets in 14 matches, including a memorable five-wicket haul, albeit in a losing cause, versus Gujarat Titans.

Umran Malik
Image Source – News 18

And even though Malik was slightly on the expensive side – leaking at 9.03 runs per over in the season – the upside of his extreme pace – he reached the 157 KPH mark – and that he will learn with time and experience saw the national selectors and management call him up for the Indian team.

Not possible to give everyone playing XI time: Rahul Dravid

Dravid said that it’s not possible to give everyone change in the playing eleven, especially given that there are plenty of options to choose from even in the absence of Bumrah and Shami; Bhuvneshwar and Harshal Patel are the likely starters with Hardik Pandya showing great signs of being the third pacer. Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik are other pacers in the squad.

“He (Malik) certainly bowled quick and with pace…But it is brilliant in terms of watching Umran in the nets, you can see that he has got that 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,” Rahul Dravid said.

Rahul Dravid on Umran Malik
Image Source – aajtak

“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,” the head coach added.

India squad:

KL Rahul (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain, wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

Also Read: Hardik Pandya Revealed How MS Dhoni Gave Him The Confidence He Needed

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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