‘Not focusing on breaking Shoaib Akhtar’s fastest delivery record’: Umran Malik gears up for national debut against South Africa

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He said he plans to bowl in the right areas and help India win against South Africa.

Many young Indian bowlers impressed the experts and fans with their sheer pace in the recently concluded IPL 2022 but Malik was the standout performer because of his raw pace. The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer had a breakout season as he picked 22 wickets in 14 matches and often clocked speeds over 150 kmph. For his impressive performance in IPL 2022, Malik got the Emerging Player award.

The young pacer was rewarded for his IPL performances as he got picked in the India squad for the T20I series against South Africa, beginning on June 9 in Delhi.

“My focus is not on that record right now. I want to bowl well, bowl in the right areas, and help my country win all five matches against South Africa. I want to keep it 150 or above to maintain my body and strength,” Umran told News24 Sports.

The 22-year-old seamer consistently produced quick deliveries in the IPL 2022. He bowled the second fastest delivery of the season 157 kph after Lockie Ferguson (157.3 kph) surpassed him in the final.

Malik credited his statemate, Abdul Samad, for the pace he got in his bowling. Malik and Samad both are from Jammu & Kashmir state and have been practicing together since childhood.

“Abul motivated me a lot. Whenever I used to bow to him, he would say I am bowling slowly. So, then I would deliver with more pace. And then the gym and proper exercise helped me in this,” Umran added.