Umran Malik, a teenage fast bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), has lit up the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 with his blistering pace. His brilliance astounds not just fans but even specialists in the game. In the match against Gujarat Titans on Wednesday night, he bowled another outstanding session, recording his best bowling stats in the competition — 5 for 25. Umran took his first five-wicket haul in the IPL, clean bowling four of his five opponents.
The 22-year-old didn’t have a fantastic start to IPL 2022, but after being selected as 2/27 against Kolkata Knight Riders, the speedster from Kashmir has been on a roll. Following the historic fifer, he rose to second place on the list of top wicket-takers this season, tied with his Hyderabad teammate and left-arm bowler T Natarajan.
Graeme Swann, a former England off-spinner, has heaped praise on the youngster. In an interview with cricket.com, he stated that if he were to choose India’s side for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year in Australia, he would surely include Umran Malik.
“Without a doubt, I will take Umran to Australia. Without a doubt! India has everything but they don’t have a pace bowler. Bumrah is quick but he isn’t expressed like Umran. Get him involved as soon as possible. He is easily good for international cricket,” Swann was reported as saying by cricket.com.
“Umran has been quick. At the start of the IPL, he was quick but going for a few runs. When I heard Dale Steyn say ‘I have asked him to bowl first, that is his weapon’, I felt like cheering. That was amazing, ” he continued.
Swann was particularly pleased by Malik’s ability to bounce out Hardik Pandya with a short ball.
“He (Umran) is that quick, he is not wild. He is very straight but he is so quick that he can get away with it. The first delivery was absolute fire, Hardik was stunned. He then bowled a rapid short delivery and got Hardik out. The quicker he bowled, he was just amazing,” Swann remarked.
Though frightening and entertaining to watch, tearaway quicks are prone to injury. Swann, on the other hand, believes that forcing Malik to play in the game’s shortest format will not affect him.
“No, injuries won’t hurt him. Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Jofra Archer, as a fast bowler, of course, you break down but Umran bowls only in T20s. It is four overs of maximum effort, I think it is the ideal number of overs for the pacer, just bowl fast and don’t think. Don’t break him in other formats, just play him in T20s,” Swann said.