Sunrisers Hyderabad shared a video of Umran Malik talking about his IPL season on their social media account before their match against Gujarat Titans.
The soft-spoken 22-year-old fast bowler from Jammu and Kashmir revealed that he had been off the radar at first in the IPL season, but that he had started to perform well in the last few games. All he wanted to do was keep extending his dream run, one game at a time.
Malik had Wankhede Stadium on its feet by the end of his 4-0-25-5 stint on Wednesday night at the IPL season, with screams of “Umran, Umran” and “Malik, Malik” accompanying the standing ovation.
Moreover, the audience in this year’s IPL Season didn’t need the DJ to motivate them.
The sheer rapidity with which Malik shattered one set of stumps after another had astounded them. Four of his five victims were bowled, while the fifth, Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya, was caught behind on a bouncer.
IPL Season player Uman Malik to fast-track into the Indian Team
There was talk among commentators to fast-track the Srinagar-born son of a fruit-seller into the Indian team as supporters exited the stadium, buzzing eagerly about the Srinagar-born son of a fruit-seller for whom 150 kph-plus deliveries are no longer a novelty.
Malik should be on the England tour later this month for the one-off Test, according to Sunil Gavaskar.
Meanwhile, Kevin Pietersen, the difficult-to-please former England batsman, smiled and shook his head. “He better be playing that game because I’m going to be calling that India-England Test match,” he remarked.
However, while the rest of the world was enthralled, the player remained unmoved, virtually undercutting his remarkable gift. He was questioned if he could run 155 kph at the post-match reward ceremony. “Uparwala dalva-de toh daal denge, Inshallah “if the Almighty wills it, ” he said.
Malik’s bowling has been characterized by speed and accuracy this IPL, with batters being beaten by sheer, raw, unplayable velocity. And his development in the game has been equally rapid: he had never played cricket with a leather ball until five years ago.
Malik began his IPL career as a net bowler with Sunrisers before being drafted in as a Covid replacement for T Natarajan last year. He made such an impression that he was called up to bowl in the Indian team’s practice sessions ahead of the T20 World Cup in 2021. Following that, he was named to India’s ‘A’ team for the tour of South Africa.
He was mentored earlier by former India player Irfan Pathan and is currently based in Jammu.
Malik seemed to have gained control of his blistering pace this year. And the ramifications have been enormous.
Batsmen who are used to facing the common T20 variety of slower balls, knuckleballs, and cutters are having a difficult time simply protecting their stumps. Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, and David Miller were four of his five victims at the Wankhede.
Moreover, Jasprit Bumrah is famed for his stinging yorkers in the IPL, while England’s Jofra Archer is notorious for his ungainly bouncers.
The audience has grown accustomed to seeing stumps flying every time Malik runs in, with the building clamor during his run-up similar to that which greeted two of the fastest of them all — Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.
The ball that knocked Saha in the IPL Season out for 68 had a speed of 152.8 kph. Then there was the screaming lifter who smacked Pandya on the right shoulder past his fighting bat and forced him to walk square-leg all the way to the circle’s edge.
Malik is in his first full IPL season on the big stage. And if a rough diamond can generate anything like this, the polished product is going to be a nightmare for batsmen all over the world.