IND v NZ 2023: Kamran Akmal explains why India should accommodate Umran Malik in playing XI

Umran Malik didn't feature in the first two ODIs against New Zealand.

Umran Malik | GettyVeteran Pakistan cricketer Kamran Akmal feels Team India would be better off accommodating fast bowler Umran Malik in their playing XI.

Malik’s stocks are on the rise ever since the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, where he took 22 scalps in 14 games for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Thanks to his IPL exploits, Umran earned his India call-up and he has certainly made a mark at the highest level by generating some serious pace.

The Jammu & Kashmir speedster performed against Sri Lanka in the recently held white-ball series. However, he was sidelined for the first two ODIs of the ongoing series versus New Zealand as India opted to go with all-rounder Shardul Thakur.

“This Indian bowling unit might struggle in conditions that are good for batting, especially against top teams. It is very important for India to accommodate Umran Malik in the playing XI," said Akmal while speaking on his YouTube channel.

He also opined that the Indian fast bowling attack will be bolstered by the return of Jasprit Bumrah, who is struggling with back injury lately.

“He is getting better and better and can surely prove to be a matchwinner. The bowling lineup will look very strong when Jasprit Bumrah returns."

Having won the first two ODIs against New Zealand, India have taken an unassailable lead in the three-match series and Akmal said the Rohit Sharma-led side should be looking to complete a whitewash.

“India should look to whitewash New Zealand. The team is very high on confidence and the players look in a good rhythm. The good thing about this Indian side is that they have won matches while both chasing and defending. We have seen in the past that they prefer to chase. However, they want to tick all the boxes ahead of the World Cup," he remarked.

The third and final ODI will be played in Indore on Tuesday (January 24).


By Salman Anjum - 23 Jan, 2023

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