Srinagar: With his sheer pace and talent, the new rising cricket sensation from J&K, Umran Malik has made whole cricket World his fan after playing only two games in ongoing India Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Playing only his second game of the IPL, Umran bowled fiery spell against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening. He consistently clocked over 150 KMPH mark and also went on to bowl 153 kph delivery which so far is the fastest delivery of the tournament this season. Umran also went on to pick up his first IPL wicket, dismissing KS Bharat with sheer pace.
Such has been the impact of Umran in his short stint at top level, whole cricket World is talking about him and praising his raw talent.
At Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Malik who is the son of a vegetable vendor in Jammu turned out to be the most economical bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad with figures of 4-0-21-1 against Virat Kohli lead Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Soon after the match, RCB skipper Virat Kohli gave Malik an autographed jersey.
Kohli went on to give full praise to Umran for his pace and talent and said there is need to overlook after him well.
“This tournament throws up talent every year, good to see a guy bowling at 150 clicks. It is important to understand the progress of individuals from here on,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“The pool of fast bowlers being strong is always a good sign for Indian cricket and whenever you see talent like this, you are going to have your eyes on them and make sure you maximize their potential which is already being seen at the IPL level,” Kohli went on to add.
Umran started to trend on social media handle Twitter as J&K Express and Jammu Express was also praised by his Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson.
“Umran certainly is special. We’ve seen him in the nets for a couple of seasons. It is a special opportunity for him and it’s not surprising to see him come and do well. He has been a really valuable addition to the side,” Kane Williamson was quoted as saying.
Malik who last year debuted for J&K senior team in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament and Vijay Hazare Trophy One Day tournament was part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad as net bowler in the IPL. It was only after pacer T Natrajan was ruled out due to COVID-19 that Umran was included in the team and got chance to play matches.
Speaking after the match in an interview with his teammate and Team India premier pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar on IPL Website, Malik said that he only started playing cricket in 2018.
“I only started playing cricket in 2018 when I attended the Under-19 selection trials. Before that I was only playing Cosco ball cricket. Even during trials I came in jogging shoes and was not aware about spikes. It was colleague whom I met during trials only, who gave me spikes and I was able to perform. I got selected for the team and went onto play for J&K. Last year I also went onto play couple of times for J&K and picked wickets,” Umran said.
Umran said that on the way he got tips from various persons for the improvement and mostly Abdul Samad has been the guiding force.
“I had been getting tips from Rajan sir in Jammu, also got some tips from Irfan Pathan. However, I unusually get help from Abdul Samad whom I consult every now and then.” Umran said.
When asked about his pace, Umran said, “ I used to play Cosco cricket and I always liked to bowl fast. Even in that form of cricket I always tried to bowl fast Yorkers,” he said.
Umran said that he was initially when he came as net bowler for the franchise with the idea of bowling to likes David Warner and Kane Williamson in the Sunrisers nets.
“I prayed to god that let me bowl well to them. I thought if I have to beat them I have to hit the right length. I kept beating them and I learned from that, I kept bowling on that same length. That made a big difference,” Umran said.