Despite conceding 14 off his only over on India's debut, skipper Hardik Pandya has backed Umran Malik, saying the 22-year-old will get a 'full chance' in their next match against Ireland. The first T20I was reduced to a 12-overs-per-side, and because of that, Umran did not get enough opportunity.
Umran Malik did not have a memorable debut for India on Sunday against Ireland in the first of the two-match T20I series. The 22-year-old speedster went for 14 runs off his only over for no success in a contest which was reduced to 12-overs-per-side. Ireland, after Hardik Pandya asked them to bat, rode on Harry Tector's unbeaten 33-ball 64 to pile 108/4. But in response, India's aggressive batting approach, consisting of Deepak Hooda's unbeaten 29-ball 47, Ishan Kishan's 11-ball 26, and Hardik's 12-ball 24 got the job done in just 9.2 overs.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Hardik lauded his team for putting an excellent collective effort in the series opener. Then, he backed Umran, whom he felt could be lethal with older balls. Further, the star all-rounder assured Umran will get a 'full chance' in the second and last T20I versus Ireland, scheduled for June 28 in Dublin, if there will be a full 20-over game.
"Great to start a series with a win. For us as a team, it's very important to start with a win. Quite happy with it. He's been fantastic for his franchise (Umran Malik). But I felt, also had a chat with him, he'll be more comfortable with the older ball," Hardik said at the post-match presentation. "Maybe next game he'll (Umran) have a full chance."
Having an unassailable 1-0 lead already, India will be aiming to complete the clean sweep in the final T20I.