Indian speedster Umran Malik clocked a thunderbolt during the first T20I against Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium. After hovering in the 140s throughout his spell, he bowled a 155 kph delivery that took out Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka.Though Shanaka was batting well but he couldn’t time Malik’s high speed delivery as he ended up hitting it straight to Yuzvendra Chahal at extra cover.
The 23-year-old from Jammu is known for his speed and it seems that his stint with former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn at Sunrisers Hyderabad gave him motivation to continue his pace.
Also Read: Gill And Chahal in Focus as Hosts Eye 2-0 Lead in Pune
As per India Today, after the end of last IPL season, Malik had shared an interesting anecdote with one of his fellow J&K cricketers Raman Thaploo. Malik had narrated about what Steyn told him after Sunrisers’ last match.
“Dale Steyn told Umran, ‘You are born to ride a Ferrari, never switch to a Fiat,’” recalled Thaploo.
“Tom Moody and Muttiah Muralitharan’s advice was to never compromise with his pace because it is his weapon by which he can terrorise batsmen,” added Thaploo.
So far, in international circuit, Malik has played five ODIs and four T20Is which has led him to be an important part of the team.
Jammu and Kashmir’s fielding coach, Tanmay Srivastava, a former India Under-19 cricketer said that he was surprised when he saw the wicket keeper’s gloves tremble every time he collected Malik’s deliveries.
“We were playing Vijay Hazare Trophy in Mohali and it was the first time I saw a wicketkeeper and slips standing that far. We’re sitting in the dressing room and you can clearly hear the sound of the ball hitting the palm of the wicket keeper’s gloves. I have never seen anything like it in my career,” Srivastava told The Indian Express from Surat, where J&K were playing against the Railways.
Tanmay also shared his thoughts on how Malik has managed to bowl with a good pace. He said, “Superior genes. A natural talent. And his run-up is from where he generates that pace. It is very smooth, his strides are like that of a sprinter and that gives him momentum. This is what I figured out after watching him from close quarters.”
Malik sent two Sri Lankan batters back to the pavilion at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday (January 3) and the crowd was completely in awe of him. Malik has a very strong connection with Wankhede as it was the same place where he bagged a five-wicket haul against Gujarat Titans during IPL 2022. It was also the time when his fans witnessed a pace magician in him.
Also Read: Olympic Gold Medallist Praises BCCI For Looking After Rishabh Pant
Vivrant Sharma, Malik’s longtime friend and his J&K and now SRH teammate, revealed that the cheers and appreciation makes Malik even more dangerous.
“Even on the nets if people start cheering for him, it gives him an adrenaline rush. He will start bowling quicker,” said Vivrant.
Vivrant further laughed and said, “Uska hai ki maar hi dena hai batsman ko aur net pe toh no-ball ka koi concept hai nahi wo 22 yard 18 yard ho jata hai aur agar 4 logo ne waah Umran waah kar diya fir aapko bhagwan hi bacha sakte hai (He just wants to go hard at the batsman and in the nets, you don’t have the concept of no-ball, 22 yards reduce to 18, and if few people start chanting his name, then only god can save you.)”
While Malik is ticking all the boxes right, his coach coach Randhir Manhas believes that it’s just the beginning as Malik might also bowl 160 kph one day.
“I spoke to him today [Tuesday] also and trust me he is not losing his sleep in order to reach that 160 barrier. He is a rhythm bowler and someday he might bowl 160 but that will be one ball. His main aim is to bowl all six deliveries in the high 140s,” said Manhas.
This Ranji Trophy season, Malik played only one match for J&K and then returned to Jammu as he had been told to focus on limited-overs, according to his coach.
“He has been told to focus on white-ball. The only Test series India will play (for a while) is against Australia and the team management is in no hurry to rush him into red-ball,” said Manhas.
He further pointed out how Malik’s been working on various bowling variations as well.
“He never used to bowl back-of-the-hand slower ones. This time I saw him working on his variations. He was working on his yorkers, slower bouncers and It was a pleasant surprise for me,” said Manhas.
Get the latest Cricket News, Schedule and Cricket Live Scores here