After their lack of wicket-taking ability on display in the first two T20Is against South Africa, Zaheer Khan has urged India to bring in Umran Malik in the third game in Visakhapatnam. Umran was adjudged the Emerging Player of the Season award in IPL 2022 after an impressive campaign with SRH.
India bowlers let down collectively in both their T20Is so far against South Africa. As a result, they are currently 2-0 down in the five-match series and will be looking to pull one back when they meet again on June 14 in Visakhapatnam for the third match. Except for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, no Indian bowler seemed to be in a good rhythm.
Ahead of this crucial encounter, Zaheer Khan urged Indian team management, led by Rahul Dravid, to bring in Umran Malik immediately. Zaheer termed Umran as a 'X-factor' and the former Indian pacer believes Umran's extra pace can change the course of any match in no time. Notably, Umran had a breakthrough season with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the recently-concluded IPL 2022, taking 22 wickets in 14 matches to be fittingly adjudged the Emerging Player of the Season. Riding on that, he earned the country's national call-up for the South Africa series.
"Extra pace can be handy. That is something that I feel, we have seen in IPL as well. You have seen Umran get (David) Miller out as well on one occasion with the ball coming around the wicket, bowling really fast. So, that's something that can be a good match-up. With (Heinrich) Klaasen as well, the way he was batting if you get that extra pace, the x-factor," Zaheer said in a discussion on Cricbuzz.
"He (Umran) can go for runs as well, but you need to have that x-factor. Something different which will maybe have that impact. So, I think the inclination will be towards Umran for the next match."