'Umran Malik jaise bowlers toh hamaare Pakistan domestic mein bhare pade hain' | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'Umran Malik jaise hamaare domestic cricket mein bhare pade hain': Pakistan pacer targets India speedster in fiery jibe

By, New Delhi
Feb 04, 2023 07:08 AM IST

Pakistan pacer Sohail Khan has come up with yet another bizarre take, this time on India pacer Umran Malik, saying that although the 23-year-old is a promising talent, 'bowlers like him' are very common in Pakistan's domestic cricket structure.

India have produced a plethora of fast bowlers in the past but there's been none quite like Umran Malik. A tall, genuine tearaway pacer, who can regularly clock 150 kph on the speed gun is a rare oddity in the world, let alone Indian cricket. At 25, Umran is young, fast, tireless and more importantly quite disciplined given his experience of playing for India. Since making his debut in June last year, Umran has played 16 matches for India – 8 each in ODIs and T20Is – and picked 24 wickets at an average less than 30 in either format. His economy-rate in ODIs and T20Is may be a tad on the higher side but the biggest positive from India's perspective is that he is a wicket taker – seldom has he gone wicketless.

Umran Malik has made waves with his rapid emergence and growth(Getty)
Umran Malik has made waves with his rapid emergence and growth(Getty)

Umran has been spoken of highly by not only former cricketers but some of the legendary pacers in world cricket. Having been mentored by the one and only Dale Steyn at Sunrisers Hyderabad and receiving solid backing from none other than the great Wasim Akram, Umran has rapidly caught everyone's attention. Even Brett Lee, one of the fastest bowlers of all time, compared Umran to a Ferrari and was shocked at his omission from India's T20 World Cup squad. However, amid all this pomp, Pakistan pacer Sohail Khan has come up with yet another bizarre take, this time on Umran, saying that although the 23-year-old is a promising talent, 'bowlers like him' are very common in Pakistan's domestic cricket structure.

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"I feel this Umran Malik guy is a good bowler. I've seen 1-2 matches. He runs fast and has kept other things is check as well. But if you think of fast bowlers with speed in excess of over 150-155 kph, I can count 12-15 players right now who play tape-ball cricket. If you go visit the trails organised by Lahore Qalandars, you'll find many players," Sohail said on The Nadir Ali podcast.

"Iske (Umran Malik) jaise toh bohot hain. Domestic cricket bhari padi hai hamaari. (Our domestic setup is filled with bowlers like Umran Malik). When a bowler comes through in our domestic level, he becomes a bonafide bowler. Like Shaheen, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf... these are bowlers who know their stuff. I can give you plenty of names."

Umran, one of the world's quickest, has already bowled the fastest delivery by an Indian clocking in 156kph against Sri Lanka, and has been tipped as a threat to Shoaib Akhtar's record for the fastest delivery of all time. Umran himself had touched upon the topic during an interview with News24, stating that there is no reason why he can't do it although his primary aim is to perform well for India. If in the process he gets there well and good, else Umran is not losing sleep over it. Sohail weighed in on Umran's comments instead saying that no human can come close to generating Akhtar's speed of 161.3 kph (100.2mph).

"There is only one thing that can break Shoaib Akhtar's record, and that is called a bowling machine because no human can ever do it. The reason is that the amount of hard work that Shoaib had put in, no one has. He used to complete 32 rounds in one day; I used to do 10 in a week. He would run on mountains with weight tied his legs and sprint," said the Pakistan pacer, who last played an international match back in 2017.

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