Former England pacer Darren Gough has confidently opined that India should take young speedster Umran Malik to Australia for the T20 World Cup later in the year.
The 22-year-old from Jammu and Kashmir recently made his India debut – he feature in 2 matches vs Ireland and one vs England, picking up only a couple of wickets and was expensive, leaking 12.44 runs per over.
Malik was then dropped from the upcoming 5 T20Is against West Indies and the belief is that the management is unlikely to consider the inexperienced seamer for the T20 World Cup this year.
Umran Malik took 22 wickets in the IPL 2022 for SRH
Darren Gough picked the two obvious choices – Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was the Man of the Series against South Africa and against England, as the two senior pacers in the Indian squad for the marquee event.
“Bumrah, I think he is the best all-format fast bowler in the world. He is your first pick, the golden pick. Bhuvneshwar Kumar comes in because of his skill with the new ball. He is really important to take early wickets, slows the momentum down. We have seen that throughout the England vs India series. So, I think he has to be on there,” Gough told the cricket.com/tv Youtube channel.
The discussion for the third and fourth seamer is up for debate with Harshal Patel the leading runner for this. Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan all have made their cases; Mohammed Shami is yet to be recalled to the T20 side after a terrific IPL show.
For Darren Gough, though, he would take two youngsters – Siraj and Malik, even though both have been criticised for being expensive with the ball. He said that he was impressed by Siraj’s performance in the Test series last year in Australia; for Umran, Gough reckons Malik’s high pace will suit well and trouble the batters on the Australia pitches.
“(Mohammed) Siraj has got a good pace. I was impressed with him when I saw him bowl in Australia and when I saw him in India. Then you’ve got Umran Malik. Anybody who bowls that speed gets into my squad. On the pitches in Australia, you might just need that extra bit of pace to shock the opposition.
“But India have got so many options, Shami is another player with so much skill with the new ball. Then there is Prasidh Krishna. There are plenty of options, but I would have Umran Malik, Siraj, Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah,” the former England seamer contended.
After the series against West Indies, India’s major T20I challenge will be the Asia Cup which will be held in the T20 format and which will serve as the clear indication of India’s situation – of progress and squad – ahead of the T20 World Cup.