Young fast bowler Umran Malik was extremely impressive in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. While representing the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the right-armer finished fourth in the leading wicket-takers table with 22 scalps to his name in 14 matches.
On the bank of his IPL heroics, Umran was picked in the India squad for the upcoming five-match home T20I series against South Africa. Now the bigger question is whether the pace sensation will get the opportunity to wear the prestigious India cap?
Speaking about the same, head coach Rahul Dravid has shared his take. The former India captain reckoned Umran as an ‘exciting’ prospect but also gave hints that the speedster might not get a chance to represent India straightaway.
“Watching Umran in the nets even yesterday, he has got that pace. He is a young boy who is learning all the time. He is getting better and improving all the time. The more games he is able to play, the better he is going to get. From our perspective, I am very happy to have someone like him in the mix. We just have to see how much of playing time we will be able to give him. We also have to be realistic, we have got a really large squad. It’s not possible to give everyone playing XI time,” said Dravid in the presser ahead of the first T20I.
Dravid mentioned that they believe in giving consistent chances to people before exploring some other options. He also hinted that India might start with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan before trying out Umran and another young recruit Arshdeep Singh.
“I am certainly someone who likes to have a bit of consistency and give people time and let them feel settled in the position. Obviously, we have got a few experienced guys who have been with us before – Harshal and Bhuvi, and Avesh played a few games in the last series [against West Indies, in February 2022] as well. So there are a few people who have been playing, but it’s nice and exciting to have a couple of young guys in the mix as well. Like I said, it has given us an opportunity to broaden our pool, look at a few more players and see what they can do,” added Dravid.