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From Jammu Tearaway to Ranchi Test Star: BCCI Announces Fast-Bowling Contracts List

March 1, 2024
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From tearaway Umran Malik, Bengal speedster Akash Deep who made his Test debut in Ranchi in the ongoing red-ball series against England to highly-rated Karnataka pacer Vidwath Kaverappa, a select complement of rising Indian speed guns were handed retainership contracts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The BCCI, on Wednesday, picked promising speedsters Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Umran Malik, Yash Dayal and Vidwath Kaverappa as part of a specially curated group for fast bowling contracts. “The Selection Committee has also recommended Fast Bowling contracts for the following athletes – Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Umran Malik, Yash Dayal and Vidwath Kaverappa,” the BCCI, cricket’s top administrative body in the country, informed through an official statement on Wednesday.

After setting the speed gun on fire in his breakthrough season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, clocking speeds in excess of 150 kmph, Umran Malik made his India debut in limited overs.

However, following indifferent returns during his brief run for India in limited-overs cricket, Umran fell out of favour with the national selectors. The 24-year-old Jammu lad has had a lean patch in the ongoing Ranji season, picking up just four wickets in five matches for Jammu and Kashmir.

However, Umran’s ability to bowl at express pace and deliver scorching toe-crushers at will was for all to see during the IPL’s 2022 edition where he picked up 22 wickets in just 14 matches. The raw pace makes Umran a genuine threat against batters and he would be eyeing another fruitful season as the IPL returns this March.

Uncapped Karnataka pacer Vijaykumar Vyshak, who is more than capable of breaching the 140 kmph mark, has been the bowling trump card for the state in the ongoing Ranji season. He has already bagged 39 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 23.61. He came into the spotlight during IPL 2023 where he featured for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He played seven matches for the Bengaluru franchise, picking up nine scalps.

Vyshak’s compatriot, Vidwath Kaverappa is a tall quick bowler who combines raw pace with variations of lengths and speed. While his stock ball is to hurl it down the middle of the pitch and get it to bounce disconcertingly on the batter, the 6.1-foot paceman is also capable of extracting appreciable seam and swing from the surface. So far, this Ranji season, he has claimed 25 wickets in 5 matches, including a 10-wicket haul (4/99 and 6/61) against Vidarbha in the Ranji quarter-final.

Yash Dayal, a left-arm pacer from Uttar Pradesh, who made headlines for the wrong reasons after being carted around for five consecutive sixes by finisher Rinku Singh in an IPL nail-biter between Kolkata Knight Riders and the Gujarat Titans, has had much better returns in domestic cricket.

Showing that his bowling repertoire has a lot more than low full tosses that were deposited to the stands by Rinku, the 26-year-old has claimed 72 wickets in domestic cricket at an average of 29.26. His sharp in-swinging deliveries and precise bouncers have made him a player to watch out for in the future.

Finally, Benglal’s ace Akash Deep, on his Test debut in Ranchi, got the cricketing world to sit up and take notice as he prised out the English order in a remarkable opening spell. After picking up opener Ben Duckett, who has a ton in this series, for his maiden Test scalp, Akash added two more to register fine figures of 3/83 in the first innings. His other two victims were Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope, the hero of England’s victory in the series opener in Hyderabad.

In a spell that brought the Englishmen to their knees fairly early in the piece, Akash demonstrated his ability to move the ball both ways as well as get it to go off the seam. The best ball in his spell was the one that sliced Crawley in half and sent his off-stump flying. However, the wicket was disallowed as he was deemed to have overstepped the line. Akash has 107 wickets in 31 First Class matches at an average of 23.70.

Akash has also featured in the IPL for RCB in two seasons. He has played seven matches across two seasons, picking up six wickets at an average of 44.00.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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