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All you need to know about pace sensation Umran Malik 

The uncapped Sunrisers Hyderabad fast bowler from Jammu has got the cricketing world talking by clocking speeds of over 150 kmph 

The uncapped Sunrisers Hyderabad fast bowler from Jammu has got the cricketing world talking by clocking speeds of over 150 kmph 

Hailing from a small town in Jammu, Umran Malik has made a mark on the wooden stumps and in the cricketing world with his thunderous pace, that saw even a seasoned and in-form batter like David Miller searching for the ball off the pitch. 

In the match played between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Titans on April 27, 2022, Malik took five wickets in his quota of four overs while giving away only 25 runs. However, the stats, as impressive as they are, still don’t reflect the devastation that Malik caused to the Titans’ batters. 

Not packing a huge swing or fiery yorkers in his arsenal for now, the right-arm speedster made the batters’ life hell by sheer pace, and whistling bouncers which kept the batters second-guessing their shots. On a pitch which witnessed 394 runs being scored in 40 overs, Malik took five wickets, four of which were clean bowled, and mind you again, not by yorkers, but quick length balls. For many, Malik’s spell was a fond reminder of the unplayable deliveries hurling out of Shoaib Akhtar’s hands, otherwise known as the Rawalpindi Express. 

Born in 1999, Umran Malik comes from a family of very modest means in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar. His father, Abdul Rashid, a fruit-seller, has been supportive of his son’s passion for the game. Talking about his son, Rashid said in an interview to  Espncricinfo that he never refused to buy equipment for Malik, but he would also always advise him to study a bit as well. 

Although, even with such backing, Malik ventured beyond gully cricket only around 17, when he started playing in local tennis-ball tournaments. 

However, he was noticed when Sunrisers Hyderabad picked him as their net bowler in 2020, where he surprised and pleased everyone with his raw pace. The franchise continued with him the following year. And in an almost movie-like turn of events, during the second leg of the IPL in Dubai in 2021, he was included in the SRH team as a replacement for T. Natarajan, who had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Umran Malik celebrates the wicket of K.S. Bharat of RCB during the IPL match between RCB and SRH, at Abu Dhabi in UAE, on October 6. 2021.
| Photo Credit: PTI

After getting out of the race for the playoffs, SRH gave the young speedster a chance against Kolkata Knight Riders. The match was a low-scoring one, with Hyderabad posting a meagre total of 115 which KKR chased down without breaking a sweat. But even in the dead rubber, one player made the cricketing world’s head turn. After his initial few deliveries, everyone looked at the speed gun and started asking who is this new guy who is clocking 150 kmph with such ease? 

Soon after, Malik bowled the second fastest delivery of IPL 2021, clocking 152.95kmph, which even made the Indian captain Virat Kohli to take notice of the young speedster. Malik was selected as a net bowler in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup.

His outing in IPL 2022 till now has proven that he has grown in confidence and with a few variations in his arsenal, he will be a bowler to watch out for.

With inputs from ESPNcricinfo  

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