Rewind again to September 2021 and even probably the most ardent fan of Indian cricket would have been arduous pressed to choose Umran Malik out of a line-up.
Now, simply seven months later, the 22-year-old paceman is being touted because the “way forward for Indian cricket” by the likes of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.
Signed as a “short-term Covid-19 alternative” for T Natarajan by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Malik’s rise from obscurity has been straight out of a Hollywood script.
Regardless of having solely performed in a single T20 and Record A match on the Indian home circuit, Malik shortly established himself as certainly one of cricket’s rarest commodities – a bowler able to breaking the pace gun.
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Taking part in within the Sunrisers final three matches of the season, Malik set tongues wagging when he bowled the quickest supply bowled by an Indian within the IPL, clocking in at an eye-watering 152.95km/h/h.
Whereas solely taking two wickets at a mean of 48.00, the Sunrisers opted to make the 22-year-old the least skilled participant to ever be retained, with Hyderabad prioritising the younger fast over established stars like David Warner.
Malik’s attraction isn’t arduous to see although.
To date in his IPL profession, over 90% of Malik’s balls have been bowled at 140km/h and the common pace of his deliveries is 145km/h, placing him in uncommon air.
Whereas he might have solely picked up the game on the age of 17, Malik is already difficult the likes of Mark Wooden, Lockie Ferguson and Anrich Nortje for the mantle of the quickest bowler on this planet.
Because the cricket world takes discover of the younger Indian, the reward has come thick and quick.
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has in contrast Malik to a Pakistani legend.
“The primary time I noticed him bowl was after I was enjoying for Jammu and Kashmir and watching him bowl jogged my memory of the nice Waqar Younis,” Pathan stated.
Whereas former West Indian fast turned broadcaster Ian Bishop is predicting it’s solely a matter of time earlier than Malik makes his impression on the worldwide stage.
“He scares you an identical approach Lockie Ferguson and Jofra Archer do, and Dale Steyn loves him. It’s simply fascinating to me what Umran Malik can turn out to be. If he stays match, he’s going to play for India,” Bishop stated.
From being flown to the UAE to be a internet bowler for the 2021 T20 World Cup to creating his first-class debut for India A, it’s clear to see how extremely the BCCI price the teen. And towards the Gujarat Titans, Malik introduced to the world that’s he’s extra than simply promise and hype.
In a breakout efficiency, the 22-year-old took figures of 5/25 in his 4 overs and almost single-handedly dragged his facet to victory. Whereas he was the one Sunrisers bowler of their line-up to haven’t but represented his, Malik proved to be the only real wicket taker for Hyderabad.
From ripping out David Miller’s center stump with a 149km/h thunderbolt, to terrorising Hardik Pandya with a vicious bouncer, the younger Indian rattled batsman of world class expertise.
Nevertheless, it was his dismissal of former Indian wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha that stood out.
In a Man of the Match efficiency Saha led the Titans to victory, smashing 68 of 37. However even the in-form Saha was powerless to cease a searing 153km/h in-swinging yorker that crashed into base of middle-stump.
“That is unbelievable,” yelled a rapturous Sunil Gavaskar within the commentary field, whereas Sunrisers bowling coach Dale Steyn merely sat with a glad smirk within the dugout because the bails lit up.
Turning into the primary quick bowler to assert a five-wicket haul this season, Malik is now the second highest wicket taker within the IPL, with 15 at a mean of 15.93.
Whereas removed from a completed product, Malik’s uncooked expertise is simple and after watching his efficiency, England nice Kevin Pietersen was imploring he be included within the Check facet.
“I’m going to be calling that India-England Check match, he higher be enjoying that sport,” Pietersen stated in commentary.
Whether or not or not Malik can crack India’s facet earlier than July stays to be seen, but it surely solely appears to be a matter of time earlier than he’s unleashed on the world stage.