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T20 World Cup: Clamour grows for including J&K-born pacer Umran Malik in playing XI

October 6, 2022

Clamor is growing for including J&K-born pacer Umran Malik in the playing XI to fill Jasprit Bumrah’s shoes in the T20 world cup.

In Sportskeeda, Rudransh Khurana wrote, with 157 kmph, 155.6 kmph, and 154.8 kmph, Umran had three of the five fastest deliveries bowled in IPL 2022 to his name.

Chahar, Patel, or Arshdeep can clock over 140 kmph consistently. However, Umran is often erratic and his pace comes at the cost of his accuracy,

Khurana wrote that there’s no one in the team to rush the batters on fast and bouncy pitches that Australia will likely put up, at least at the start. In the host team, almost every pacer can do it. All other teams have at least one such bowler too.

He said On grounds with long boundaries and green tracks, his pace and bounce will catch many a batter by surprise.

“In T20Is, Bumrah is often seen as someone who would bowl a few overs in the powerplay and then the rest at the death. This, though true, overlooks the fact that his accuracy always gives his captain the luxury to use him in the middle overs, whether to slow the tempo of an innings or to target a new batter with pace,” Khurana wrote.

He said neither Chahar nor Arshdeep have bowled much in the middle overs. Harshal was the second-highest wicket-taker in the phase in IPL 2022 with 10 victims. Ahead of him was only Umran, with almost double the tally – 19 wickets at an average of 19.78.

“Umran, with his pace and ability to unsettle new batters in the middle overs, provides an aggressive option. His rotation with spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin could prove to be too good for some teams in Australia. Picking Umran ahead of Siraj would be a risk as the latter has been in equally good recent form and is more experienced. Siraj also has the experience of bowling in Australia, though most of it in the 2021-22 Test series,” he said.

Khurana said Siraj’s recent performances in T20 cricket, including the IPL, have shown he’s not as good in the shortest format as he’s in red-ball cricket. Umran, meanwhile, has been a superb four-over bowler who’s also improving in other formats.

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