‘Not possible…’: Umran Malik likely to warm the bench in first T20 against South Africa

June 8, 2022
Source: BCCI/IPL

India head coach Rahul Dravid has hinted that speedster Umran Malik may not make it to the playing XI, at least in the first T20I against South Africa on Thursday.

Rahul has been excited by the prospect of seeing tearaway quick Umran in India’s practice sessions ahead of the first T20I against South Africa. At the same time, Dravid dropped a hint that the Jammu pacer may not get game a game against the Proteas.

“Obviously, he (Malik) 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. 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, and it is not possible to give everyone playing XI time.”

Malik, 22, bowls with sheer pace and consistently clocks speeds above 150kph and was used as a middle-overs enforcer by Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022, picking 19 wickets in that phase, out of his haul of 22 wickets in the tournament. Dravid had been keenly watching Malik in India’s first practice session on Monday.

“It’s exciting. He certainly bowled quick and with pace. Another thing which has been interesting for me watching the IPL from the outside is the number of Indian bowlers bowling fast.”

“And obviously, being coach of all three formats of the game, I would love to see that translated into the longer formats of the game. But it is brilliant in terms of watching Umran in the nets, you can see that he has got that pace,” said Dravid in the press conference.

“I think I am certainly someone who likes to have that consistency, give people time and let them feel settled in the positions. It would be interesting to see how much playing time we give to Umran, we also have Arshdeep (Singh) here who is brilliant as well. We have experience in the form of guys who have been with us before, Harshal (Patel), Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), Avesh (Khan).”

“There are certain things we need to look at but it is nice and exciting to have a couple of young guys in the mix as well. It has given an opportunity for us to broaden our pool and see what they can do,” concluded Dravid.

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