Former Indian cricketer Munaf Patel feels that Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) pacer Umran Malik will only last longer if BCCI will take proper care of him.
Ever since SRH played its first match in IPL 2022, Malik has hogged headlines for his raw pace. The right-arm pacer has played an instrumental role in SRH’s success this season. His ability to bowl express pace has troubled many batters and contributed to the team’s cause.
In the last few matches, he has found himself in the wickets column and has looked ever more threatening than in the initial matches of the tournament. He recorded his best performance in the tournament in SRH’s recent encounter against GT.
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Malik took his maiden five-wicket haul against GT, returning with the figures of 5/25. Although it came in a losing cause, the young pacer drew rich praises for his efforts. He recently also became just the fourth bowler in IPL history to bowl a maiden in the final over of an innings.
Following his heroics, there have been calls regarding his selection to Team India. Many fans and pundits want him in the national side as he can consistently clock 150 kph.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Munaf Patel said that BCCI needs to take good care of Umran Malik as then only he will last long.
“When I first came on to the scene, social media wasn’t as big as it is now but there was certainly excitement around. It is a natural reaction if somebody comes up from a small place where there is no infrastructure. Umran has come up the same way I did. You need to take good care of him. He will last long only if the BCCI does that,” Munaf Patel said.
Adding to his point, Patel cited the example of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, himself, VRV Singh and Ishant Sharma and said that the governing body needs to bring a system in place where fast bowlers, who often get injured, should play only a fixed number of matches throughout the year.
“If you see, Zaheer Khan had also arrived as a 145-plus bowler, Ashish Nehra was there, I was there, VRV Singh was there, Ishant Sharma was also quick when he came in. At present, you have guys like Umesh Yadav, and Navdeep Saini. There needs to be a system in place where there is a restriction on the number of matches a fast bowler plays in a year,” he said.
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Patel feels that although Malik currently is ‘soney pe suhaaga’, using him too much can make him injury prone and will eventually cut down his pace.
“Now, of course, technology has advanced in terms of physiotherapy and training, but still you will have to take care of him. If you use him too much, then chances are he will suffer a big injury and that means he will then have to start cutting down on his pace. But right now, he is bowling like soney pe suhaaga," he said.
Malik is currently in the third position on the list of the highest wicket-taker in IPL 15. He has 15 wickets to his name from 8 matches at an average of 15.93. He will be next seen in action when SRH will face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday (31st April) at MCA Stadium in Pune.
(The Indian Express inputs)