Rahul Dravid opens up on Umran Malik's chances in South Africa series
- Umran Malik has been included in India's squad vs South Africa
- The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer picked 22 wickets in 14 games in IPL 2022
- India face South Africa in a five-match T20I series
Umran Malik, at the back of his show in IPL 2022, was selected in India's squad for a five-match T20I series against South Africa, starting June 9. The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer picked 22 wickets in 14 games at 20.18 and economy rate of 9.03 rpo. He clocked the fastest deliveries in all matches he played and the second-fastest, a 157kmph bullet, of the season.
India will face Temba Bavuma and co in the first T20I at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.
Ahead of the series that is a step in determining India's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia in October-November, head coach Rahul Dravid shed some light over Malik's chances to make it to the playing 11.
Also read: Why is Temba Bavuma wary of Umran Malik?
"Yeah, it is exciting. He certainly bowled quick and with pace. Another thing which has been interesting for me watching the IPL from the outside is the number of Indian bowlers bowling fast. And obviously, being coach of all three formats of the game, I would love to see that translated into the longer formats of the game. But it is brilliant in terms of watching Umran in the nets, you can see that he has got that pace," Dravid said.
The former India captain, who took on the coaching duties after the T20 World Cup last year, added that the 22-year-old will need to be consistent.
"Obviously, he is learning. He is a young boy and he is getting better, improving. The more he is able to play, the better he is going to get. From our, perspective, very happy to have someone like him in the mix. We have to see how much playing time we can give him, we need to be realistic, we have a large squad, it is not possible to give everyone playing XI time," he said.
The Indian squad also included the likes of Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Avesh Khan in the pace department. Senior players in Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Sharma have beeen rested. KL Rahul will lead the team with Rishabh Pant as his deputy.
I think I am certainly someone who likes to have that consistency, give people te and let him feel settled in the positions. It would be interesting time to see how much playing time we give to Umran, we also have Arshdeep here who is brilliant as well. We have experience in the form of guys who have been with us before, Harshal, Bhuvi, Avesh. There are certain things we need to look at but it is nice and exciting to have a couple of young guys in the mix as well. It has given an opportunity for us to broaden our pool and see what they can do," Dravid added.
India T20I squad: KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(vc) (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.