Indian pacer Umran Malik is over the moon after receiving his maiden India call-up for the T20I series against South Africa. He joined the Indian squad on Sunday, ahead of the first T20I in Delhi later this week.
Umran Malik impressed the experts and the fans with his ability to scare the batter with his raw pace in the Indian Premier League 2022 season. He won the Emerging Player of the tournament, after picking 21 wickets in fourteen matches for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Following his brilliance in the league, the Indian selectors picked him for the T20I series against South Africa.
On Wednesday, the Indian team shared a video featuring the young pacer. Umran spoke about his first day with the squad, expressing that it was his dream to play for the country. He said,
“I got an India call-up, which was my dream and it has now been fulfilled. Was very excited for today as it was a big day, joining the Indian team, and practicing with them. I was confident that I will bowl well. I feel that all are like my brothers, I am enjoying my time here.”
💬 💬 "A dream come true moment to get India call up."
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 8, 2022
The young pacer also shared his experience of practicing under Rahul Dravid and Paras Mhambrey in the Indian nets. He stated that speaking to the duo and taking advice from them boosted his confidence.
“I was very happy speaking to a legend like Rahul sir. He said, ‘you have been doing well, just continue doing that’. Paras sir was standing behind me while practicing and was sharing his advice, which boosted my confidence. Dravid sir was also standing in the front. It was great learning from them,” said Umran Malik.
A lot of credit goes to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kane Williamson: Umran Malik on his IPL 2022 success
Umran Malik was roped in by the Sunrisers Hyderabad as a replacement for T Natarajan in the 2021 Indian Premier League. The following season, they retained him for INR 4 crores, which proved to be a masterstroke for the team. Umran credited the Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his success.
“A lot of credit also goes to Bhuvi Bhai, whenever I bowled, he used to stand at mid-off or mid-on. And also to the skipper Kane Williamson, he used to back me even if I went for runs,” said Umran.
The young pacer shared that during his initial days of playing with the tennis ball, he used to follow the likes of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Burmah, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He said,
“When I used to bowl with the tennis ball, at that time, Shami bhai, Bhuvi bhai, and Bumrah used to bowl yorkers well. So, I used to just follow them.”
Umran Malik also revealed that Dale Steyn had predicted before the IPL 2022 season that the youngster will be a part of the Indian team soon.
“When my name was included in the squad, Dale sir was also with me, we were going for practice. Everyone congratulated me including Dale Steyn. He said to me ‘I had already told you before the start of the tournament that after it ends you will be in the Indian team,” expressed Umran Malik.