Despite growing up facing the quicks in South Africa, no Proteas batter would like to face a ball at 150 kmph, said skipper Temba Bavuma, pointing at India’s uncapped pace sensation Umran Malik ahead of the five-match T20 series that starts on June 9 in Delhi. (More Cricket News)
Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Umran Malik has been a standout performer for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, picking up 22 wickets while bowling constantly over 150 km/hr. He earned his maiden India call-up against South Africa.
Bavuma hailed Umran Malik as an ‘exciting bowling prospect’ but is wary of the exploits the youngster can do to the opposition. “Umran Malik is an exciting pace bowling prospect for the Indian team. IPL has been great for the Indian team as they are able to unearth all these fast bowling options,” Bavuma said.
“I think in South Africa we grow up facing fast bowlers but I don’t think no batter likes to face ball at 150 kmph. But you prepare as well as you can,” added the Proteas skipper. “We also got guys who can bowl 150 kmph. So, we have that weaponry in our arsenal.
“But Umran Malik is a special talent for Team India and I hope that he could emulate his IPL performance in international cricket,” Bavuma added. Expectedly, Umran Malik was the center of attraction in the India camp during the training session in Delhi on Monday.
The 22-year-old impressed everyone at the nets in Feroz Shah Kota, hitting the blades of captain KL Rahul, and Dinesh Karthik to name a few, hard. Umran was also seen spending some quality time with head coach Rahul Dravid while bowling coach Paras Mhambrey also worked closely with the youngster.
Another uncapped pacer, Punjab Kings’ Arshdeep Singh too hit the areas right at the nets which Mhambrey advised him to do. Whether they are wide yorkers or the ones within the stumps, Arshdeep was spot on.
India will be fielding a pretty young team against South Africa with the likes of senior players including skipper Rohit Sharma, ex-captain Virat Kohli and speedsters Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami given rest. KL Rahul will lead India in the absence of Rohit.
However, Bavuma isn’t in the mood to take the young Indian side lightly. “We don’t have the luxury to rest players. India may be resting a few players but the guys who are playing are also in good form and are great players. The important thing is to prepare for the T20 World Cup,” Bavuma said.