Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has praised J&K pacer Umran Malik who is currently playing with SunRisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022.
Shastri’s comments came after Umran came up with another impressive spell of fast-bowling in SunRisers’ IPL 2022 opener against Rajasthan Royals at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
Umran Malik was one of the surprise retentions by SunRisers Hyderabad ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction. The 22-year-old Srinagar pacer impressed in his maiden season for SRH in IPL 2021. He was retained for Rs 4 crore along with captain Kane Williamson and all-rounder Abdul Samad.
Umran gave away 19 runs in a nervy start to his new season as Rajasthan’s Jos Buttler took him to the cleaners but he came back to remove the England star in his 2nd over in high-scoring first innings. Umran then broke a 50-plus stand between Sanju Samson and Devdutt Padikkal by beating the latter with pace as he consistently clocked pace in excess of 145 kph.
The 22-year-old pacer finished with figures of 2/37 even as Rajasthan posted 210 on the board in 20 overs.
“He is consistent and I like his attitude. This kid can only learn. This guy has got genuine pace, if he hits the right areas, he is going to trouble a lot of batters. It’s about handling him properly. You have got to give him the right messages. The way you communicate with him will be very important,” Ravi Shastri told Star Sports.
“There is no doubting his potential. This guy is an India player.”
Shastri urged the Indian national team management to keep Umran close to the senior team and the selects o consistently track his progress.
Notably, Umran was picked as India’s net bowler for T20 World Cup last year, which was Ravi Shastri’s last assignment as the head coach of the team. Umran was rewarded for his showing with SRH in the IPL in the UAE last year.
“When he is ready, only time will tell but the communication part is extremely important. He should be handled with care and kept in him the mix so that he doesn’t go out of bounds,” he added.
“I think he has to be around the mix of the Indian cricket team. The selectors have to watch him closely. He can be part of the extended party of the Indian cricket team in these Covid-19 times.”