Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar wants to fast track the impressive Umran Malik to the Indian team and has advocated for the Jammu pacer’s inclusion in the England tour after the pacer put in one of the most memorable pace bowling performances in the IPL with 5/25 – albeit in a losing cause – against Gujarat Titans for Sunriser Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Wednesday.
Malik, who has been impressive throughout the season with his pace, has been on the radar of many cricket analysts who have been saving good things about the 22-year-old. In 8 matches Malik now has 15 wickets at 15.93 and more importantly, he is clocking 145 kmph on a consistent basis and the economy has also come down from over 10 at the start of the tournament to 7.97. In their first encounter against Gujarat Titans too, Malik had made his presence felt with his pace. He had rattled the helmet of GT skipper Hardik Pandya at the DY Patil Stadium clocking 153 kmph per hour.
On Wednesday also, he clocked 153 kmph, as he rattled Wriddhiman Saha’s stumps with a perfect yorker. He had earlier beaten Shubman Gill for pace and then had David Miller and Abhinav Manohar bowled as well. He took the wicket of Pandya as well with a short delivery, but his superlative effort was trumped by Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia’s lower-order hitting.
Gavaskar, who has been impressed by the pacer, said on air that he should be fast-tracked to the Indian team and should be part of the tour party to England, even though he does not get to play any of the games. I think he might not play in the XI because India have got Shami, Bumrah, Siraj and Umesh. But just travelling with this group, sharing the dressing room with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, look what it’s going to happen to him. Take him to England for the one-off Test and the limited-overs.”
India will be playing the final Test of the five-match series in July this year, which was rescheduled after the series was abandoned owing to Covid outspread in the Indian camp last year. Following that, India will play England in three T20I and three ODIs. India start the UK tour with two T20I against Ireland in Dublin, starting June 26.