'Don't rest him every second game': Brett Lee's stern message to Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma about Umran Malik

Mar 23, 2023 07:53 AM IST

Umran Malik was surprisingly not given a game in the three-match ODI series against Australia.

Umran Malik has been a headline-grabber ever since he burst onto the scene in the IPL a couple of seasons ago. Malik, arguably the fastest bowler going around in India, made his ODI and T20I debut last year. Because of his ability to breach the 150 kmh mark consistently, he has been rated highly by one and all. His international career hasn't quite gotten off to a fiery start but he is talented enough to be considered one of the leaders of India's ever-blossoming pace attack. The right-arm pacer, however, was surprisingly not given a game in the three-match ODI series against Australia.

India's Umran Malik (2R) celebrates with teammates(AFP)
India's Umran Malik (2R) celebrates with teammates(AFP)

To be fair to captain Rohit Sharma, it was difficult to play him ahead of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. And in the only match in which India fielded a specialist third seamer, they decided to go with Shardul Thakur's experience.

Also Read: 'Of course, IPL starts now. India make mistakes of forgetting such losses...': Gavaskar's warning for Rohit, Dravid

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee, who was one of the fastest bowlers during his playing days, said India should play Umran Malik regularly in all three formats.

"Umran Malik is a wonderful bowler. He is a special talent. If his workload is taken care of properly, he will do wonders" Lee told TimesofIndia.com. "I believe he (Umran) can play all three formats of the game. We must manage him correctly."

Malik has so far played 8 ODIs and 8 T20Is for India picking up 13 and 11 wickets respectively. He hasn't yet earned a Test call-up. Lee advised the Indian team management led by captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid to make sure he does core strength training and improves on his sprint.

"The best way to manage him correctly is to allow him to bowl, give him as many games as possible, don't rest him in every second game. Just don't let him go into the gym more and lift heavy weights. He should do light muscle mass in the gym which is important for him. He should work on his sprinting and obviously his core strengthening," Lee added.

Malik, who has recorded the fastest ball by an Indian pacer, will next be in action in IPL 2023. He will represent the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who begin their campaign on April 2 against the Rajasthan Royals.

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