Umran Malik will play for India but pace is not everything: Anrich Nortje
Umran Malik is the toast of IPL 2022
The 22-year-old is regularly clocking 90 miles per hour
Due to his pace and ability to take wickets, Umran has been touted to play for India in the near future
Umran Malik will definitely don the India jersey but raw pace would not alone help him to survive in international cricket. He will need to pick up skills and tricks of fast bowling to become a quality pacer, said star South African pacer Anrich Nortje said on Friday.
Nortje, who is playing for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2022, is one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket. He has made a comeback to competitive cricket after four months of recovering from a hip injury.
Asked about his opinion of new pace sensation Umran Malik, who is regularly clocking 90 miles per hour, Nortje sounded cautiously optimistic.
“I am sure Umran is going to be one of the key players for India in near future. Luck will also have to play its part. But most importantly, it’s about the quality of what you deliver as we have seen fastest deliveries that are being awarded are going for boundaries,” Nortje told PTI in an interview.
“It doesn’t matter at what pace it is bowled. Pace is not the be-all and end-all.
“It is about the quality of execution. And I believe he is improving on that aspect of having control with pace. Also at Sunrisers Hyderabad, under Dale (Steyn, fast bowling coach), Umran is in good hands. He has a lot of senior and experienced players around him, so he will certainly improve,” the pacer said.
In the ongoing season of IPL, Nortje has not been in best of his form as he was picked in only four of Delhi Capitals’ 12 games, taking six wickets in them.
“It’s been a long break but it’s good to be out there on the field with the team and it was long time at home. I needed a break at the start (of my injury) but got very long at the end not knowing what was going on.
“It’s really good feeling to get going again and obviously trying to bowl at level I was bowling,” the 28-year-old said.
For fast bowlers suffering from hip injuries and stress fractures, building the rhythm is an important aspect, and Nortje is still not sure as to how much time it would take for him to hit the peak again, like the 2019-20 season.
“If I knew the answer I would have told you,” he laughed.
“I am myself trying to figure out as well. There is obviously a balance between the amount we can bowl at this stage and so you can’t really bowl 20 to 30 overs in a week really.” He spoke about his endeavour to build muscle memory.
“Just trying to find a balance. Quantity of overs bowled will play a massive role later on but for now, just trying to focus on small things — like trying to remember what I was doing right before I ended up injured in November. So trying to find that feeling but it might take some time just to get on top of everything,” Nortje said.
For now, Nortje is not trying to again hit the 95 mph, focusing instead on deliveries of better quality and then gradually building on the pace.
“The basics are about execution and the sort of quality of delivery as well and the recent focus is to try and get that quality up.”