The current crop of Indian fast bowlers is brimming with world-class talent. A bunch of youngsters have made waves with their sparkling show but Umran Malik is a notch above his compatriots in terms of speed. The 22-year-old from Jammu has perhaps been the find of the ongoing IPL season as he has outsmarted the top batters of the world with his raw pace. IPL 2022 Full Coverage
The right-arm tearaway pacer, who has picked 15 wickets so far, bowled the fastest delivery at 157 kmph in the current IPL. He’s blown hot and cold when it comes to taking wickets but Umran is inimitable in the pace panel. Pundits and fans have called for his inclusion in the Australia-bound T20 World Cup squad. But will his lack of experience come in the way?
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar feels Umran will play for India as he belongs to the world stage but the Sunrisers’ pace sensation needs to stay away from injuries. Akhtar, who was the first player in history to break the 100-mile barrier, wants to see Umran entering the club.
“I want to see him have a long career. A few days ago, someone was congratulating me as it’s been 20 years since I bowled the fastest delivery but no one has been able to break the record. But I said, ‘There must be someone who can smash this record’. I will be happy if Umran breaks my record. But needs to ensure that he doesn’t get injured in the process want to see him playing for a long stretch without any injuries,” Akhtar told Sportskeeda.
“I want to see him on the world stage as he belongs there. At present, there are not many people who can cross the 150 kph mark. We have seen that Umran has been bowling consistently at that pace. I want Umran to that 100 mph mark at the back of his mind. I will be happy if he enters the 100 mph club. But he has to stay away from injuries which can halt his career,” he further added.
On Umran’s workload, Akhtar said that the BCCI should step in and take care of the Indian’s unique talent.
Umran was a net bowler during India’s last World T20 campaign in the UAE. He will be on the selection committee’s radar when India play seven T20 Internationals against South Africa and Ireland respectively.
“BCCI and youth academy need to take care of Umran’s workload. He now has to train scientifically in an advanced way. His bowling needs to be measured. When you drive a car at high speed, there are chances of its tire blowing up or engine getting damaged. It has to go back to the factory and recuperate. During the offseason, Umran has to make sure that he trains double his workload. That will reduce the pressure of his workload,” Akhtar explained.