Australian fast bowling legend Brett Lee has lavished rich praise on Indian pacer Umran Malik, who has set the international cricket scene and the IPL on fire thanks to his ability to bowl consistently at over 150 kph.
Malik, who plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, had an amazing outing in IPL 2022 where he picked 22 wickets in 14 matches, including a fifer to his name. He also bowled the fastest-ever delivery by an Indian in IPL history at 157 kph.
This led to Malik making his India T20I and ODI debut as well, showing glimpses of his raw talent with 13 and 11 wickets respectively in the two white-ball formats where he played eight matches apiece. The 23-year-old is yet to be in the reckoning for his Test debut.
Brett Lee feels that Malik is ready for the challenges of Test cricket and should be given a chance in the longer format of the game as well.
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"Why not? He is good enough in my opinion. He has got good pace, got nice action and runs in well with a beautiful approach. So yes he can be injected. He is a superstar in the making,” Lee told Hindustan Times on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket in Doha.
Lee, who was one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket during his time and often competed for pace with Shoaib Akhtar and Shane Bond, had his share of injuries, especially his shin bone, which led to him retiring from Test cricket in 2008, after making his debut in 2000 and then from all cricket in 2012.
He had some words of encouragement for Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who underwent surgery for his back stress injury in New Zealand and is expected to miss the IPL 2023 and the final of the WTC 2023 and might just make it in time for the ODI World Cup 2023 later in India.
Lee feels that the 29-year-old has to make some technical changes in his bowling routine upon returning to the sport.
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"I wouldn't say it makes it weak. I would definitely say that it leaves a whole in there. And I mean this as a compliment because he is that good. Bumrah has got a wonderful record. Unfortunately for him, he has had that worrying back issue for quite sometime now. The only advice I would say is that with his run up being so short, he has to find that pace and power out of his action where I think, maybe now in due course he might extend his run up to allow that pressure to be taken of his back," he said.
Bumrah has been out of action since England tour last July barring a brief appearance in two T20Is against Australia in September 2022.
(Hindustan Times inputs)