Cricket

Ex-India Pacer calls it a ‘good debut’ for Umran Malik

Amid growing demands from cricket fans, Team India debuted young pacemaker Umran Malik in the first ODI against New Zealand in Auckland on Friday. In the absence of veteran players, the Jammu sprinter had a great opportunity to open the Indian bowling attack with fellow debutant Arshdeep Singh. The game did not end in India’s favour, as the hosts recorded a 7-wicket victory to go 1-0 up in the series, but Umran surely left an impact with his great pace.

From his very first lap, the right arm quickly outwitted the speed gun by consistently clocking over 145 kmph. Where most Indian bowlers failed to boot a single wicket, Umran returned figures of 2 for 66 in 10 overs. The youngsters even reached the top speed of 153.1 kmph during their remarkable run.

Also read: Williamson, Latham’s colossal partnership defeat India as New Zealand win by 7 wickets

Former India pacemaker and World Cup winner Zaheer Khan reserved high praise for Imran. Speaking on Amazon Prime Video, Zaheer said Jammu’s pacemaker should support his strength and look to bowl as quickly as possible.

“He was great. He started off really well. And the pace that everyone has been talking about is his strength, he got his back. Going into the second half, there are some learnings for sure, but it’s just the first game for him at this level. It’s about going out there, enjoying the moment and giving it your all. I think he had a good debut,” Zaheer said.

“You can overlook the runs at the moment, but what’s important for a bowler like him, who bowls at that kind of pace, is the intention to take the wicket. That was fine, and the body language was fine too. All the little adjustments that he will make as he progresses in his career. But the important thing is that he must recover his strength and seek to bowl as quickly as possible. He showed decent control and should continue with that.

“You need variety in your bowling attack. You have used different bowlers for different things. When you look at Umran, you have to look at him as a turf taker. Let him flourish as a bowler who is going to be that forward of your attack. He’s someone who probably isn’t thinking about running. He will leak runs in the process, but you have to take it slow and just back him up to be free. That is a very important thing,” he added.

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Earlier, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham stitched together an unbeaten 221-run position for the fourth wicket to snatch victory from India. Latham was the leading scorer with an unbeaten 145 from 104 balls, while Williamson scored 94 without being out.

Both teams will now move their bases to Hamilton where they will play on the 2North Dakota I HATED on Sunday.

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