Sunil Gavaskar Wants India To Play Umran Malik In The 3rd T20I Against South Africa

Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian captain, and legendary batter want India to play Umran Malik in the third T20I against the Proteas on Tuesday (June 14). The 72-year-old said the pacer is only the second player, after Sachin Tendulkar, that he is excited to see. The Men in Blue have suffered defeats in the opening two T20Is of the five-match series.

On the back of his sensational performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the recently concluded IPL 2022, young pacer Umran Malik earned his maiden India call-up. The 22-year-old was selected in India’s 18-member squad for the ongoing five-match T20I series. But the express pacer failed to find a place in the playing XI in the first 2 T20Is.

Umran Malik is part of the 18-member Indian squad for the five-match T20I series against South Africa. Photo: ANI

Sunil Gavaskar Is Excited To Watch Umran Malik After Sachin Tendulkar

In the opening two T20Is, India went with the tried and tested formula of going with the senior players first. But it hasn’t worked for India so far, and after the Men in Blue suffered back-to-back defeats, former Indian captain and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar has batted for Umran Malik’s selection in the eleven for the third match.

The 72-year-old said that it’s high time that India should hand Umran Malik his debut. The first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket has always praised the right-arm pacer, who picked up 22 wickets in the IPL this year, and said that, after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Umran Malik is the only cricketer he gets excited to watch.

Sachin Tendulkar called time on his 24-year-long illustrious career in November of 2013 after completing 200 Tests for India, finishing with over 33,000 international runs and 100 centuries, including the first-ever ODI double ton and winning the 2011 World Cup.

Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar (Getty)
Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar (Getty)

“The first player I got excited to see was Sachin Tendulkar. The second player is Umran Malik.” Sunil Gavaskar said.

In his first full season in the cash-rich league, Umran Malik impressed everyone with his speed and wicket-taking abilities. He bowled in excess of 150kmph on a regular basis and caused trouble for batters throughout the campaign. His skills were not just limited to bowling fast, as he also finished as the fourth-highest wicket-taker of the season.

Sunil Gavaskar Reckons India Should Try Youngster Pace Sensation Umran Malik In The 3rd T20I To Avoid Series Defeat

Sunil Gavaskar has always praised the Jammu and Kashmir youngster for his pace and aggression with the ball and said that now since India lost the first two T20Is, they should try the youngster in the upcoming matches. Apart from Umran Malik, Team India also has young left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh in their squad, who has impressed while representing the Punjab Kings in the last two IPL seasons.

Sunrisers Hyderabad pace sensation Umran Malik has been one of the finds of the 15th season of the cash-rich league. He has impressed the selectors not just with his raw pace, clocking consistently over 150 kph, but also with his wicket-taking abilities.

In 14 games this season, he has picked 22 wickets for SRH at a strike rate of just 13.57 and an economy rate of 9.03. Umran Malik, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s leading wicket-taker this season had picked 22 scalps from 14 IPL 2022 games averaging an impressive 20.18 with a best of 5/25.

“He should play,” Sunil Gavaskar remarked.

Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Umran Malik celebrates the wicket of Tilak Varma. Photograph: BCCI
Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Umran Malik celebrates the wicket of Tilak Varma. Photograph: BCCI

India trails the five-match T20I series at home 0-2 after losing the opening two matches, which were played in Delhi and Cuttack. The visitors took the Indian bowlers to task as they had failed to defend the total in both matches. After the third T20I in Vizag on June 14th, the remaining two matches of the series will be played in Rajkot (June 17) and Bengaluru (June 19).

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