Mumbai, April 28 (IANS) Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann opined that if he were to pick India’s squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year, he would undoubtedly include Sunrisers Hyderabad’s lightning quick pacer Umran Malik.
For yet another time in IPL 2022, Malik lit up the tournament with his raw pace mixed with control and accuracy to bag 5/25, his maiden five-wicket haul in IPL. Four out of his five wickets came through clean bowled, with a 153kmph unplayable yorker to dismiss Wriddhiman Saha the standout.
“Without a doubt, I will take Umran to Australia. Without a doubt! India have everything but they don’t have a pace bowler. Bumrah is quick but he isn’t express like Umran. Get him involved as soon as possible. He is easily good for international cricket,” Swann was quoted as saying by cricket.com.
Malik didn’t have a great start to IPL 2022 but since picking 2/27 against Kolkata Knight Riders, Malik has been on an upswing in the tournament. Currently, Malik’s tally in the ongoing tournament has gone to 15 scalps, on par with his Hyderabad team-mate and left-arm pacer T Natarajan and just three behind table-topper, Rajasthan Royals’ leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
“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,” added Swann.
What impressed Swann the most was the manner in which Malik bounced 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.”
Though menacing and exciting to see, tearaway quicks have the tendency to get injured often. But Swann thinks that making Malik play in only the shortest format of the game 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 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.”
Though Hyderabad lost by five wickets to Gujarat Titans, they did well to make a stiff score of 195/6 in their 20 overs. While Abhishek Sharma took Rashid Khan to cleaners with his 42-ball 65, Aiden Markram’s 40-ball 56 ensured Hyderabad got a huge total to defend, which was not enough to save them from a loss.
“Aiden Markram has been phenomenal for Sunrisers this year. I have always had a doubt on how effective he would be in India but he has proved me completely wrong. He is so strong, he absolutely smacks it. He has worked out a way against spin but he has worked so well, both Miller and Markram.”
Swann signed off by saying that leg-spinner Rashid Khan being previously part of Hyderabad before going to Gujarat could have helped Markram and Sharma in dealing him well during the match.
“They got some inside knowledge on Rashid, maybe? Worst thing for a bowler is to play against his old side. He got taken to the cleaners by Abhishek Sharma, he is a classy player and he took on Rashid so well. He’s doing the job well. Kane Williamson isn’t in the greatest of nick, so it is incredible from the youngster.”