Many have praised Umran Malik as one of the most exciting cricketers to have emerged from India in decades due to his sheer pace. Even former captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar admitted that he hasn’t been this enthused about an Indian cricketer since watching a young Sachin Tendulkar bat. Umran, though, had to wait for opportunities in international cricket while he made a splash in the IPL.
During India’s visit to Ireland in June 2022, the 23-year-old player made his debut. He has since appeared in eight T20Is with 11 wickets and ten ODIs with 13 wickets. He has only played seven first-class games in his career and has yet to make his Test debut. Umran had a very productive season in the IPL in 2022, capturing 22 wickets in 14 games with an average of 20.18 and an economy of 9.03. However, Umran only managed to take five wickets in the eight games he played in during the 2023 season, and both his economy and average increased to 10.85 and 43.40, respectively.
Brian Lara, a West Indies icon who until last season served as the team’s head coach at Sunrisers Hyderabad, the IPL team for which Umran competes, has noted that while the tearaway’s pace is remarkable, he will need to learn to diversify his skill set.
Lara talks about Umran Malik
“He will be a sensation, but very quickly he will have to learn that fast bowling really does not trouble the best players in the world. You have to have the ability to do something with the ball, be sensible, and maybe understand times when you have to trickle back or understand the times when you have to up the tempo. He is very young and has got a lot of years ahead of him,” said Lara on the YouTube channel ‘Wake Up With Sorabh’.
“We have had so many different examples. Wasim Akram was a raw pace, Malcolm Marshall had a destructive pace, and Michael Holding did. But they all know that at some point in time, they had to come up with a lot more tricks than just being able to bowl fast. If he (Umran Malik) works with Dale Steyn, he could definitely be one of the best India could produce.”
Umran needs to bowl more overs in order to develop his skill set, according to former India fast bowler RP Singh, who previously spoke with Hindustan Times.
“I don’t think it’s a confidence issue, but there are a few things that I noticed while commentating during the 1st ODI (vs West Indies). He was bowling cross-seam deliveries quite a lot, that could have been avoided. His pace was good but he bowled only three overs, which I felt were less. He could’ve been given more overs. Rohit opted to give the ball to Kuldeep instead,” Singh said.