Every year the Indian Premier League throws around 2-3 names from the cricketing circuit that captures the imagination of the fans and the cricket experts. This year, Sunrisers Hyderabad's pace sensation Umran Malik has been one such cricketer. The fast bowler from Jammu has sheer pace in his repertoire which has seemed to impress cricket experts and fans alike.
Thanks to IPL, Malik not only got an opportunity to compete against the likes of batting great and India captain Virat Kohli, but he could also share the dressing room with New Zealand's legendary batter Kane Williamson. Interestingly, both these players had only good things to say about Malik after Hyderabad handed a 4-run defeat to Bangalore at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
While he had failed to get a wicket on his IPL debut against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai, against Bangalore though he wasn't only economical but got KS Bharat to hurry into his stroke with his express pace to get his maiden wicket. Moreover, he was the most economical bowler for the Orange Army conceding only 21 runs in his 4 overs.
Good to see a guy bowling at 150 clicks: Virat Kohli
Malik got a further reason to cheer when none other than captain Kohli himself agreed to sign a jersey for him at the conclusion of the match. While talking to Harsha Bhogle on Star Sports after the match, Kohli lauded Malik for his speeds but said now he should focus on keeping his body fit.
"[Umran Malik] good to see a guy bowling at 150 clicks. It’s important to understand the progress of individuals from here, how to look after yourself. We’ve got to maximise the potential of our fast-bowling stocks," Virat stated in the post-match presentation.
It’s not surprising to see him come and do well: Kane Williamson
Notably, Malik was clocked at 153 kmph during the match against Bangalore and even Williamson was amazed at this achievement which he expressed while talking to Alan Wilkins at the post-match presentation.
"Umran certainly is special. We’ve seen him in the nets for a couple of seasons. Special opportunity for him and it’s not surprising to see him come and do well. Been a really valuable addition to the side," Williamson said in response to Wilkins' query.