India vs South Africa: Rahul Dravid makes big statement on Umran Malik
Dravid and Malik during India nets in Delhi. Photo: BCCI

India vs South Africa: Rahul Dravid makes big statement on Umran Malik

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India coach Rahul Dravid on Tuesday (June 7) spoke for the first time about rookie pace sensation Umran Malik ahead of the five-match T20I series against South Africa.

Malik, who impressed in the recently concluded IPL 2022 where he took 22 wickets and consistently clocked 150 kmph-plus, has earned a maiden call-up to the Indian team.

Also read: Umran Malik names his 3 idols; eyes 5-0 win

He has started training with the Indian squad in Delhi under the watchful eyes of Dravid.

Speaking to the media, Dravid said it was “brilliant” to watch the Jammu right-arm paceman in the nets.

“He certainly bowled quick and with pace. Another thing which has been interesting for me watching the IPL from the outside is the number of Indian bowlers bowling fast,” Dravid said.

Also read: Exclusive: Umran Malik should be fast-tracked into Indian team, says Irfan Pathan

He added, “And obviously, being the coach of all three formats of the game, I would love to see that translated into the longer formats of the game. But it is brilliant in terms of watching Umran in the nets, you can see that he has got that pace.”

Dravid dropped a major hint that Malik may not get a chance in the T20I series which starts in Delhi on June 9.

“Obviously, he is learning. He is a young boy and he is getting better, and improving. The more he is able to play, the better he is going to get. 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, it is not possible to give everyone playing XI time,” the former India captain said.

Also read: IPL 2022: Full list of award winners, prize money details and key stats

The coach also spoke about the experienced bowlers in the squad.

“I think I am certainly someone who likes to have that consistency, give people time and let them feel settled in the positions. It would be an interesting time to see how much playing time we give to Umran, we also have Arshdeep (Singh) here who is brilliant as well. We have experience in the form of guys who have been with us before, Harshal (Patel), Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), Avesh (Khan). There are certain things we need to look at but it is nice and exciting to have a couple of young guys in the mix as well. It has given an opportunity for us to broaden our pool and see what they can do,” Dravid said.

India T20I squad: KL Rahul (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain and wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

South Africa tour of India Schedule
Day Date Match Venue
1 Thursday 9 June 1st T20I Delhi
2 Sunday 12 June 2nd T20I Cuttack
3 Tuesday 14 June 3rd T20I Vizag
4 Friday 17 June 4th T20I Rajkot
5 Sunday 19 June 5th T20I Bengaluru
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