"I'll break that, if...."- Umran Malik's blunt take on breaking Shoaib Akhtar's fastest ball record
The year 2022 was a mixed year for Team India. They couldn't do well in the multi-national tournaments and also suffered various injuries to their key players. However, the absence of key players provided opportunities for other young players to shine.
And one such player who made his mark in 2022 is "Jammu Express" Umran Malik. The 23-year-old is currently the fastest bowler in the Indian setup and has the ability to bowl over 150 km/h consistently. The Indian management tried him in ODIs and T20Is, and he has responded pretty well so far.
He caught the eyes of everyone with his rear pace in the TATA IPL 2022 and also picked up 22 wickets in 14 games, which helped him get his maiden call for the Indian team. So far, he has played five ODIs and three T20Is.
He is also part of the team for the upcoming ODIs and T20Is against Sri Lanka, starting on January 3. And it is his pace that draws comparisons with former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar, who bowled the fastest ball in cricket history with a speed of 161 km/h in 2002 against New Zealand.
As a result, the 23-year-old has been asked about breaking Akhtar's record for the fastest ball. In his latest interview on News24, he was asked about breaking Akhtar's record, to which he replied that he is currently focusing on performing for India.
Umran said, "Right now, I'm only thinking about performing well for the country. If I do well, and if I'm lucky, I'll break that. But I don't think about it at all. During the game, my only focus is on bowling in the right areas and picking wickets."
He also stated that during the game, a bowler never realises how fast he has bowled, and they only find out after the game. The 23-year-old was also part of the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh in December 2022. He will be in action soon for India against Sri Lanka.