IPL 2022: "Watch him closely, he is an India player"- Ravi Shastri on SRH pacer Umran Malik

Malik was retained before IPL 2022 by the SRH management.

Umran Malik impressed with his pace in SRH's IPL 2022 opener | BCCI-IPL

The IPL 2022 retentions earlier this year raised quite a few eyebrows when Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) decided to retain the relatively inexperienced Jammu and Kashmir duo of pacer Umran Malik and batter Abdul Samad, along with Kane Williamson.  

Malik had made his debut towards the end of the IPL 2021 season and had managed to gain instant attention with his tearaway pace.

Having been retained, he is certainly a crucial part of SRH’s plans and the team would bank on him to come good. However, Malik was taken to the cleaners in his very first over this season as Jos Buttler made full use of the extra pace that came his way.

Malik came back into the game, after having conceded 19 runs in his first over, to break the partnership between Paddikal and Samson with a fiery delivery. He ended with 2/37 from his 4 overs, consistently clocking speeds in excess of 150 kph.

Ravi Shastri, the former India head coach, speaking as an analyst on Star Sports urged the Indian team management to watch Malik closely and even keep him around the national setup to track his progress.

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Malik had joined the Indian squad at the T20 World Cup 2021 last year as a net bowler after his performances in IPL 2021. It was coincidentally Shastri’s last assignment as the Indian head coach, and it was there that he got the chance to have a closer look at Malik.

"There is no doubting his potential. This guy is an India player. 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.

Amidst concerns about his control over line and length and his bowling not being disciplined enough, Shastri feels that if handled properly Malik will develop into an asset for the future.

"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."


By Aman Gupta - 30 Mar, 2022

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