Mumbai, April 28: Former England player Graeme Swann opined that if he had to pick India’s squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year, it would certainly include Sunrisers Hyderabad’s fast-paced Umran Malik.
For another time at IPL 2022, Malik lit up the tournament with his raw pace mixed with control and precision to pack 5/25, his first five-wicket run in IPL. Four of his five wickets came out clean, with an unplayable 153km/h yorker to dismiss Wriddhiman Saha as the standout.
“I will definitely take Umran to Australia. Without a doubt! India has everything but they don’t have a pace bowler. Bumrah is fast but he is not fast like Umran. Get him involved ASAP. He is easily good at cricket international,” Swann was quoted as saying by cricket.com.
Malik didn’t get off to a great start in IPL 2022, but since picking 27/2 against Kolkata Knight Riders, Malik has been on the upswing in the tournament. Currently, Malik’s tally in the current tournament has reached 15 scalps, on par with his Hyderabad teammate and left arm pacer T Natarajan and just three behind table leader leg spinner of Rajasthan Royals, Yuzvendra Chahal.
“Umran has been fast. At the beginning of the IPL, he was fast but he made a few runs. When I heard Dale Steyn say ‘I asked him to throw first, that’s his weapon,’ I felt like cheering him on. That was amazing,” Swann added. .
What impressed Swann the most was the way Malik took out Hardik Pandya with a short ball. “He (Umran) is that fast, he’s not wild. He’s very straight, but he’s so fast he can get away with it. The first pitch was absolute fire, Hardik was stunned. Then he threw a quick short pitch and served Hardik. The faster he threw, it was just unbelievable.” Although threatening and exciting to watch, ripping rapids tend to be frequently injured. But Swann thinks having Malik play solo in the game’s shorter format won’t do any harm.
“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 T20. It’s four max effort overs, I think that’s the ideal.” number of overs for the pacer, he just bowls fast and don’t think. Don’t break him in other formats, just play him in T20s”. Although Hyderabad lost by five wickets to Gujarat Titans, they did well to post a stiff 195/6 score from their 20 overs. While Abhishek Sharma led Rashid Khan to cleaning up with his 42-ball 65, Aiden Markram’s 40-ball 56 ensured that Hyderabad had a grand total to defend, which was not enough to save them from a loss.
“Aiden Markram has been phenomenal for the Sunrisers this year. I’ve always had doubts about how effective he would be in India, but he proved me completely wrong. He turned around, but he’s worked very well, both Miller and Markram.” Swann signed off saying that Rashid Khan, who turned his legs and was previously part of Hyderabad before going to Gujarat, could have helped Markram and Sharma treat him well during the match.
“Do you have some inside knowledge on Rashid maybe? The worst thing for a bowler is to play against his previous team. Abhishek Sharma took him to the dry cleaners, he’s a classy player and he played Rashid very well. He’s doing the I work well. Kane Williamson is not at his best, so it’s amazing of the young man.”