The legendary Sunil Gavaskar, known for being miserly in praise, has certified a new kid on the block. The youngster “has been very, very impressive with his speed but more than his speed, it’s his accuracy (that’s impressed),” the veteran said.
“A lot of guys who bowl at that speed tend to spray the ball around but Umran bowls very few wide deliveries,” the Little Master said on “Cricket Live” on Star Sports.
Gavaskar feels that the pacer is going to play for India very soon.
It’s déjà vu as a rising number of talents in the IPL has brought back to Indian cricket the ‘problem of plenty’. Every year, with more youngsters making records, there is a clamour for their inclusion in India XI. After a successful IPL 2020, the likes of T Natarajan and Suryakumar Yadav received international call-ups, while the following year, after a stellar show with the bat, Ruturaj Gaikwad was rewarded with a maiden call-up. Similarly, this season is no different. Young cricketers like Ayush Badoni, Jitesh Sharma, Umran Malik, Tilak Verma, Vaibhav Arora and more have made heads turn with their promising performances.
However, the one name that stands above the rest is Umran playing currently for the IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. The 22-year-old speedster has made a mark not only with his pace but also his improving line and length and wicket-taking abilities, so much so that India legend Sunil Gavaskar feels the fast bowler could play for the Indian national team soon.
“If he can control the wides down the leg side, he will be a tremendous bowler because that will mean he’ll be attacking the stumps all the time, and with his pace, it’s not easy to hit straight. If he bowls wicket-to-wicket, he is pretty much going to become an unplayable bowler. He’s going to play for India,” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar though has some advice for the young tearaway pacer. He has asked him to get better control on his line and length and not bowl too many wides down the leg side. He believes working on this aspect of his bowling will make him an unplayable bowler.
Umran has so far claimed nine wickets from six matches, with a best of 4/28 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Umran is currently ninth in the list of leading wicket-taker in this season of the IPL. While Umran has bled runs, he has also gotten better. After going wicketless for 39 and 29 runs against Lucknow Super Giants and Chennai Super Kings, Umran came back strong and produced figures of 1/39, 2/27 and an IPL career-best of 4/28.