Indian cricket has been known to produce brilliant batters and for generations, batters from the country have dominated world cricket be it, Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli. But, with modern-day cricket evolving, India is witnessing Umran Malik, who is proving to be a fast-bowling sensation.
Cricket in India has always been a batsman's game and fans as well as budding cricketers more often than not want to become batsmen when they grow up and play for the country. India has produced some of the finest batters that have ever played the game and have ruled the cricketing world. Greats like Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath and Mohammed Azharuddin were some of the players that ruled the field when they stepped out to bat. There are many others who I cannot name on this list because it will become a really long one.
The ones who will forever be etched in the memory of every cricket fan will be players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Sachin Tendulkar is often referred to as the 'god of cricket' by fans across the world. He was one of the few batters who could enthrall an audience irrespective of the country to which they belonged. Sachin Tendulkar was a crowd-puller as people from Australia, England, New Zealand, or anywhere in the world where he was batting people just used to pay to watch the genius bat. Such was the stature of the man that by the time he retired from international cricket he broke almost every record that there was in cricket for a batter.
Then came the Virat Kohli era and he too like Sachin Tendulkar was the man who could win games for the country single-handedly. When Sachin Tendulkar retired, no one thought that there could be another player who could be of his stature. But Kohli came and conquered all as he smashed bowlers from all parts of the world to show his dominance and announced his arrival. Fans and young cricketers started believing that if Kohli was batting then anything is possible and no target set by the opposition was big enough. He received the nickname of chase master because in white-ball cricket Kohli became an unstoppable force and could chase down any target with ease.
After MS Dhoni stepped down, Virat Kohli took over and unlike his predecessor, Kohli believed in having fast-bowlers on his side who could rattle the batters with their sheer pace. He started picking bowlers like Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Umesh Yadav who were quick even if their line and length were a bit wayward. However, not all could manage to be a part of Kohli's side as the success that Bumrah and Shami achieved under their former captain has not been seen in Indian cricket.
Indian coaches at the domestic level started putting more emphasis on fast bowlers. Soon after, the Indian Premier League saw a plethora of fast-bowlers like Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna and Arshdeep Singh just to name a few. These youngsters have done well in the IPL and have the potential to regularly play for India. But, the exception and probably the find of the IPL might just be Umran Malik.
The fast-bowler from Jammu and Kashmir is receiving all the attention in IPL 2022. The twenty-two-year-old pacer is clocking speeds that have been largely unseen by any Indian cricketer. Umran Malik is consistently bowling at over 150 kmph which is rattling batters in the IPL this season. The thing that is even more intriguing is the fact that Malik backs himself to just bowl raw fast pace which was not something that was promoted back in the day.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have put their faith in Umran Malik and just want him to bowl fast as Dale Steyn who is the bowling coach for SRH said. It does not matter if he goes for runs what matters is the fact that he should be bowling fast.
Umran Malik grabbed eyeballs in the Indian Premier League last year. Although the young pacer made his debut against KKR while playing for SRH but he grabbed everyone's attention when his team was up against RCB.
In that particular game, Umran Malik bowled 5 balls on the trot and clocked over 150 kmph consistently. Interestingly, the fast-bowler was not originally in Sunrisers Hyderabad or any IPL team in the 2021 season. He was brought in the side by the SRH management after their regular pacer T.Natarajan had got injured.
Since then, there has been no looking back for the youngster as he has gone from strength to strength and is consistently bowling fast and also picking wickets for his franchise. Malik's rise to the top is almost certain as any captain from around the world will want to have such a lethal bowler on their side.
Surely the Indian team management and the selectors will be keeping an eye on him with the T20 World Cup set to take place in Australia this year, Umran Malik can be an asset for Rohit Sharma's team. An Indian attack that boasts of fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur just to name a few someone like an Umran Malik can be a great addition to that attack.
Malik's sheer pace can be used upfront to rattle the opposition batters which can set the tone for the game. Umran Malik's rise to the top is almost certain and the only issue that he and the teams that he plays for is to make sure they keep him fit. History is proof the bowlers with such pace have more often than not had injury concerns. This is why if Umran Malik can stay fit and clock the speeds that he has consistently, I am certain that he will be wearing the Indian jersey sooner than anyone ever thought.