Umran Malik and Haris Rauf are perhaps the only two bowlers in world cricket right now who can bowl 150 plus at will. Not only this duo has done it multiple times, but they have also managed to keep the pace throughout the span of an entire game. This seems to be the new fight in town after Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam thing with the fans of two modern-day arch rivals often getting on each other’s throats on social media.
Now, it seems we have new raging debate: who is the fastest among Umran Malik and Haris Rauf? Who can break the fastest ball barrier set by Shoaib Akhtar?
When Pakistan great Aaqib Javed was asked to weigh in, he fired the first shot. He compared Rauf to Virat Kohli, depicting him as the senior and the bigger heavyweight vis-à-vis Umran Malik.
“Umran Malik is not as trained and fit as Haris Rauf. If you look at him in ODIs, in his first spell he bowls around 150 kmph but by the 7th or 8th over the speed drops to 138 kmph. The difference is the same as it is between Kohli and the rest of the batters. He (Haris) is very disciplined with his diet, training and his lifestyle. I have not seen a single Pakistan bowler who has a diet like Haris. No one has a clear lifestyle like him. Bowling 160 kmph is not a big deal for me, but bowling at the same speed throughout the match is very crucial," he told Events & Happenings Sports.
Umran Malik has been giving his all in IPL games where he has touched 157 kmph while in international games he managed to hit 156 kmph. Nonetheless, his erratic line and lengths is a cause of concern. On the other hand, Rauf made his Pakistan debut in 2020 after he shone at the BBL with Melbourne Stars. The journey had not been easy for the 28-year-old who is just reaching his peak.
Coming back to Umran, he was advised by his senior Mohammed Shami to focus on line and lengths since he has enough pace.
“You have a lot of spirit. Your future is bright, my best wishes to you. But I do have an advice for you, you have a lot of pace and it’s not easy playing it. Just focus on your line and length a bit more, and when you get that in control, you can be on top of the world," Shami said.