"He is not ready to play for India" - Former Indian cricketer reckons Umran Malik is "still raw"
The Indian Premier League has always given a platform to many cricketers across the world to showcase their talent on the grandest stage. Many young and emerging players have come to this stage and gotten a taste of competitiveness among the best in the business. The 15th edition of the cash-rich league has also seen many young cricketers coming and performing, and a few of them have overshadowed the veterns of the game.
Sunriser Hyderabad speedster Umran Malik is another player who has certainly made an impact this season.The 22-year-old has caught the attention of the world with his sheer pace and accuracy. In fact, he has bowled the fastest ball of this season and the second fastest in the IPL ever. He bowled a 157 km/h ball against the Delhi Capitals and has consistently bowled at speeds of more than 150 km/h.
Many ex-cricketers and anaylists have urged his selection in the Indian team. However, the former Test opener has a different view on this. Aakash Chopra thinks that there is still time for him to play for India as he is "still raw." During an interaction with the show "Mute Me" on ESPNCricinfo, he said that the pacer is not ready to represent the country.
Speaking of his speed, he said that everyone gets excited to see him bowl at over 150 km/h consistently, but Umran is still raw and is in his learning process. He also said that he would play for India in the future, but now he still needs to learn. Aakash further added that it is fine to have him in the team, but picking him in the playing XI might not be possible at this moment. The former cricketer reckons, "Currently, he is not ready. I feel you have to nurture him, you have to protect him, allow him to blossom. You just cannot throw him into the deep water."
On the other hand, former West Indies legend Ian Bishop didn't seem to agree with Aakash. He said that the pacer has shown enough experience and maturity to get a chance to play for the country. Bishop said that he has bowled 157 km/h and no one in the world is doing that, so if he gets into the team, that will be a learning curve for him. He also said that he might not play straight away with Bumrah and Shami, but that it would help him to learn more than going on an "A" tour. The former West Indian cricketer concluded, "He has shown enough control and learning in this IPL to be at least around a squad."
Umran has taken 15 wickets so far in 11 matches, including a five-wicket haul against Gujarat Titans. But he has struggled in the last three matches and has gone for plenty without taking any wickets. SRH are sitting at the sixth spot with 10 points and are left with three matches to play. They need to win all three matches in order to qualify for the playoffs.
India will host South Africa for a five-match T20I series starting from June 9.