Along with Gambhir, many other legends of the game and pundits were also mighty impressed with what Umran gave a glimpse of last year in the 3 matches he played in T20 cricket’s biggest league. Watching Umran bowl five consecutive deliveries at more than 150 clicks last season in a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore was something fans in India still talk about. After all, it’s not a very common sight. And when that happened, it gave the entire nation something unique and special to cheer about.
Cut to April 2022, Umran once again is the buzz of the town. Just a couple of games in IPL 2022 so far and the 22-year-old has taken the cricketing world by storm again. The searing pace with which Umran has been bowling is increasingly becoming too hot to handle for the batters.
Image credit: SunRisers Hyderabad‘s Twitter handle
The 152.4 kph bullet that Umran bowled to Lucknow Super Giants‘ Deepak Hooda on Monday’s game is so far the quickest this season and the rhythm with which Umran is bowling, it looks like he is just warming up for a lot more in the days to come.
With the mighty South African Dale Steyn, who is the bowling coach for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, in his corner, Umran also has a great mentor.
The National selectors of course must already have their eyes on this very talented 22 year old from Jammu and Kashmir. Talks of Umran wearing the India jersey in the near future have been doing the rounds for a while now.
Hey @DaleSteyn62, can’t think of anyone better than you to mentor a young kid like #UmranMalik who runs in hard and… https://t.co/0KxsbAN2aj
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 1649083055000
Umran Malik is so exciting. He has raw pace which can’t be learnt. Now it is upto coaches and captains to make him special.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 1648565559000
Inswinging yorker at 146 kmph, which KL Rahul somehow kept out. Umran Malik will play for India soon.
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) 1649082966000
Well , did I see a 146-147 Kmph Yorker by Umran Malik ? ? .This dude got pace and he’s getting few variations too… https://t.co/IDBWTaqlua
— Dhruv Raj (@being_ingenious) 1649082962000
Invest in this guy. Give him a long rope. Don’t judge too early. Let him fly, fall, adapt, grow. And, he”ll be a wo… https://t.co/RvZT1Cnfx2
— tea_addict ?? (@on_drive23) 1648565383000
If Umran Malik was Pakistani, he would have been selected in Test team already https://t.co/RNYOqcJaOM
— yang yoo (@GongRight) 1648567304000
Keep an eye out for Umran Malik this season. Serious pace bowling talent
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) 1648567449000
Hailing from Srinagar, Umran incredibly only started playing with the regular cricket ball in 2017. Still very early in his cricketing days, Umran has got quite a lot to learn about bowling and the game itself.
Umran has been mentored by former India pacer Irfan Pathan, who was a mentor of the J&K Team. Last season in the IPL, Umran was a net bowler with the SRH franchise and got the call-up when T Natarajan tested positive for Covid.
Bowling over 150 clicks with ease is almost always a facet of natural talent that a bowler possesses. And Umran very clearly has that. But bowling that quick, while maintaining consistency in line and lengths is something that is very tough to do and he must already have got a lot of advice about that from senior professionals.
Umran also needs to control the runs he is giving away, especially in T20 cricket. At just 22, Umran surely is on his way to making adjustments and improvements in his game, but it will also be the responsibility of the captains and coaches and the various teams he is a part of to turn the Jammu Express into something truly special.