Will Umran Malik make his debut in T20I series against South Africa, coach Dravid gives a hint
Image: BCCI/Team India

A couple of years ago, speedster Umran Malik was just another pacer with an arm-action similar to Pakistani legendary bowler Waqar Younis. However, cut short to today, Malik has become the centre of attraction and has lit up everyone’s eyes with his searing pace. The Jammu and Kashmir bowler has filled everyone with excitement and everyone wants to see him play for the men in blue in the upcoming T20I series. But, will Umran Malik make his debut in the T20I series against South Africa? Here is what head coach Rahul Dravid said:

Addressing the media queries ahead of the start of the South Africa tour of India for five T20Is, head coach Rahul Dravid gave a clear indication that Umran Malik might have to wait for his turn to come.

“He (Malik) certainly bowled quick and with pace. It is brilliant in terms of watching Umran in the nets, you can see that he has got that pace. Obviously, he is learning. He is a young boy and he is getting better, improving,” said Rahul Dravid ahead of India vs South Africa 1st T20I in Delhi.

“From our, perspective, very happy to have someone like him in the mix. We have to see how much playing time we can give him, we need to be realistic, we have a large squad, and it is not possible to give everyone playing XI time.”

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Dravid said that he wants to give ample opportunity to every player to settle in and perform.

“I think I am certainly someone who likes to have that consistency, give people time and let him feel settled in the positions. It would be interesting time to see how much playing time we give to Umran, we also have Arshdeep here who is brilliant as well,” he added.

“Another thing which has been interesting for me watching the IPL from the outside is the number of Indian bowlers bowling fast. And obviously, being coach of all three formats of the game, I would love to see that translated into the longer formats of the game.”

Team India will lock horns against South Africa for the opening T20I match tomorrow (9th June) in Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium. KL Rahul will lead the Indian contingent in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant has been handed the vice-captain’s role.

Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami are three other notable absentees for the SA series as the cricket board has given them a breather.

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