'Last got this excited on watching Tendulkar', Gavaskar praises Umran
Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar lavished praise on Umran Malik ahead of the third India-SA T20I in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. The batting legend has been mighty impressed by the 22-year-old uncapped pacer. Gavaskar added that Sachin Tendulkar was the last Indian player who drew his attention, the way Umran has. It will be interesting to see if Umran makes his debut tonight.
"The last time I got really excited at seeing an Indian player was Sachin Tendulkar. And after that I am excited to see Umran Malik," said Gavaskar on Star Sports. Gavaskar added that Umran's inclusion for the third T20I will depend on whether India want to experiment with their line-up, especially on the wicket on offer in Vizag.
Playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Umran finished as the fourth-highest wicket-taker of the Indian Premier League 2022. He snared 22 wickets from 14 matches at 20.18. Umran also took his maiden IPL five-wicket haul in the season. However, the speedster was a tad expensive in some of the games. As per ESPNcricinfo, 91% of his deliveries were over 140 KPH after the first seven matches.
In 2021, Umran became the fourth player from Jammu and Kashmir to play in the IPL. Mithun Manhas, Rasikh Salam, Abdul Samad, and Manzoor Dar (who was roped in by a team but never played a game) are other players from the province.
Umran is not the only uncapped fast bowler in the Indian squad for the SA series. He is joined by left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh, who troubled the batters with his impeccable yorkers in IPL 2022. The Punjab Kings pacer bowled a total of 24 dot balls in the death overs during the tournament. Only time will tell when the duo represents Team India.
India, despite posting 211 runs, were let down by their bowling department in the first T20I. Avesh Khan (0/35) was the only bowler with an economy of under 9.00. In the second outing, India managed 148/6 in 20 overs. Ishan Kishan (34) and Shreyas Iyer (40) batted well. The hosts eventually lost by four wickets. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 4/13 was a huge plus.