Playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), Umran Malik impressed one and all with his express pace. He consistently bowled over the 150 kmph mark in the cash-rich league.
The 22-year-old featured in all 14 league matches for SRH, claiming 22 wickets at an economy rate of 9.03. Thanks to his IPL exploits, the Srinagar lad recently received his maiden call-up to the senior Indian team for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa at home.
Speaking to NDTV, Umran opened up on the changes in his life after the success in this year’s IPL.
"It feels really good when people recognise your efforts. So many people have come to my house and congratulated me. Also, so many great players have praised me. It feels really good," he stated.
"From the start of my career, I have been bowling fast. It is God-gifted and natural. I like to bowl fast. I like taking wickets because if I take wickets, my team will win. When I don't take wickets, I like to bowl in right areas. Batters also get scared, when you bowl fast. That also feels good."
Umran Malik started his journey with tennis ball cricket and spoke about the support he received from Abdul Samad and Irfan Pathan.
"At that time, I was nicknamed Ghajini, because I done my hairstyle like in the movie (Aamir Khan essayed the character of the protagonist). Then I played U-19 cricket and after that got chance in the IPL," Umran said. "In Jammu and Kashmir you will get a lot of bowlers who bowl at 130-140 kmph speed.
"I got help from Abdul Samad (fellow SRH and Jammu and Kashmir player). Also Irfan Pathan helped me a lot. He was the mentor of the Jammu and Kashmir team. I used to send him my videos and he suggested a few changes in my bowling."
Umran is excited for the T20I series against South Africa, slated to get underway on June 9 in Delhi.
"I hope to give my best for the team. Hopefully, we will win all five matches," he concluded.
(With NDTV inputs)