Meet Umran Malik, the SRH bowler who clocked 150 kph on IPL debut

2021-10-04 06:42:24

When Umran Malik travelled to the United Arab Emirates with the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad within the first week of September, little did he know that he would quickly make his Indian Premier League debut.

This was his second stint with the franchise as a internet bowler, and this time too, he hoped to have some good time on the nets. Nonetheless, issues modified shortly for the 21-year-old as he was named a short-term alternative for T. Natarajan – who contracted COVID-19 quickly after reaching Dubai.

Whereas he needed to heat the bench within the first few video games of the second leg, Malik was handed the cap on Sunday towards Kolkata Knight Riders and the younger quick bowler from Gujjar Nagar in Jammu made heads flip together with his pace.

Malik clocked 146-plus pace within the very first over, and he entered 150s twice on the pace gun – the one Indian to have accomplished so within the IPL. Whereas the cricket fraternity was in awe of his pace, Malik remained calm and composed, thus ending his 4 overs, conceding 27 runs.

Regardless that he remained wicket-less, Malik made life tough for Kolkata Knight Riders batters with sheer pace and the truth that seasoned campaigners like Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill struggled to deal with him, proved that this younger gun with athletic physique, robust motion and uncooked tempo is right here to remain.

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Because the cricket pundits have been excited with this new expertise, sitting far-off in Jammu, Randhir Singh Manhas was blissful to see his ward come a great distance. A coach on the Jammu and Kashmir Sports activities Council, Manhas noticed Malik for the primary time when he was 17. The rookie quick bowler had come to the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu – the place the Sports activities Council runs a cricket teaching centre – to coach below Manhas.

“Initially, he was not fairly severe concerning the sport. He would flip up in the future after which disappear for 3 days. And once more, after every week or so, you’ll see him bowling on the nets. He had ardour for the sport, however didn’t take issues significantly,” Manhas advised Sportstar.

Class X drop-out, who needed to watch for his flip

Whereas Manhas was impressed together with his pace, he advised Malik that he needs to be severe and disciplined in a bid to pursue his desires. “He was a uncooked expertise, who had immense potential however wanted some steerage. He would clock 145-plus on the nets and we knew that if he’s mentored correctly, he can go far,” Manhas, who’s popularly referred to as ‘Rajan Sir’ within the native cricket circuit, stated.

A couple of months later, Malik caught the attention of the selectors and was chosen for the U-19 Jammu and Kashmir group. Nonetheless, he hardly bought any sport time and needed to principally heat the bench. “They didn’t give him an extended rope. So, he was dissatisfied, however then, for us, the problem was to guarantee that he didn’t lose the plot,” stated Manhas.

He would often play tennis ball cricket and have within the native tournaments, which helped him improve his pace. Coming from a humble background, taking part in cricket was by no means straightforward, however his father – who runs a fruit store in Gujjar Nagar – inspired his son to proceed with cricket. “He’s a category X drop out and all he did was simply play cricket. He has elder sisters and he’s the one son within the household, in order that they have been very supportive and that helped him play freely,” Manhas stated.

The coach additionally remembers how former India stumper Ajay Ratra was impressed with Malik, when he noticed the latter on the nets. “Ratra was the coach of Assam and forward of a Ranji Trophy sport, Umran was one of many internet bowlers. Watching him bowl with such a pace, Ratra inquired why the selectors weren’t taking part in him for Jammu and Kashmir…”

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Manhas had no reply then. Regardless that he inspired his ward, behind his thoughts, even he had doubts whether or not Malik will really make it to the Jammu and Kashmir squad anytime quickly.

However issues slowly modified when former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan took cost because the mentor of the Jammu and Kashmir group. “Irfan being a top-level quick bowler, he noticed potential in Umran and so they began mentoring the younger cricketers and that boosted his confidence,” Manhas stated.

The Irfan hand

Pathan remembers the primary time he noticed Malik in a camp in Jammu. “What struck me was his tempo, however again then, he would soar out rather a lot. So, we needed to work a bit on his bowling motion. That helped him achieve management and it benefitted his bowling,” Pathan stated.

In 2019, Pathan and the then Jammu and Kashmir coach Milap Mewada needed to provide him most sport time within the coaching camp in a bid to organize him for first-class cricket. Nonetheless, with the state going right into a curfew following the abrogation of Article 370, the coaching camp in Srinagar was disbanded and the gamers have been despatched residence.

“Umran was one of many younger prospects and our goal was to work with him within the camp and put together him for the Ranji Trophy. However that didn’t occur. However all credit score to him, he has labored actually arduous over the previous few months and has been very spectacular within the nets,” Pathan stated.

“He has been a internet bowler at Sunrisers for some time now and that has helped. This yr, David Warner struggled whereas going through him on the nets and that’s how he caught the attention of the group administration. He’s nonetheless a piece in progress and he nonetheless must play a good quantity of home cricket to get higher. However he’s a real expertise and has the potential,” Pathan stated.

The best way ahead

Earlier this yr, he lastly made it to the restricted overs group of Jammu and Kashmir and featured in two fixtures – a T20 and a 50-over sport – the place he made life tough for the opponents. “He’s a real good expertise, who has the potential to go far. Within the nets, he would typically hit the batters on the helmet. With time, he will definitely enhance additional,” Parvez Rasool, who was the captain of Jammu and Kashmir group when Malik made his debut, stated.

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“He is superb associates with Abdul Samad – who additionally performs for Sunrisers Hyderabad. And for the final two seasons, he was a internet bowler with SRH and that has not solely boosted his confidence, however has additionally helped him be taught a factor or two from worldwide cricketers,” Rasool, who himself is an India worldwide, stated.

“He’s a tough working cricketer and we have to make sure that we give him most alternatives in order that he can enhance his sport additional. He has that means to make it massive,” Rasool stated.

Over the previous few years, a number of cricketers from Jammu and Kashmir have made their presence felt on the nationwide degree and the IPL and with one other teenager – who turns 22 subsequent month – proving his mettle, the way forward for cricket within the valley is vivid certainly!

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