Team India’s young pace sensation Umran Malik enjoyed a good year in 2022 playing consistently for his IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. The right-arm fast bowler played 14 matches in the Indian Premier League 2022 season which was followed up by a maiden call-up for the Men in Blue’s T20I series against South Africa last year. Since then, Umran has made five appearances in the ODI squad as well and four in the shorter format of the game. Recently, Umran was asked if he wants to break Shoaib Akhtar’s record of bowling the fastest delivery in international cricket (161kph vs New Zealand in 2002). Interestingly, the Jammu and Kashmir cricketer’s reply to that query will leave you stunned.
Due to the sheering pace he possesses, Umran is often compared to Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar who was arguably the fastest pacer in the history of Asian and world cricket. During an interview with News24, Umran was asked whether he aims to break Akhtar’s long-standing record. To which, the young cricketer explained he is not focused on any record as of now and aims to perform brilliantly for India instead. (Follow IND vs SL LIVE 2nd T20I here)
“Right now, I’m only thinking about performing well for the country. If I do well, and if I’m lucky, I’ll break that. But I don’t think about it at all,” said Umran.
“You don’t get to realize how fast you’ve bowled during the match. It’s only when we come back after the game when we get to know how fast I was. During the game, my only focus is on bowling in the right areas and picking wickets,” the 23-year-old pacer further added.
“When it comes to bowling at fast speeds, there is no one better for me to emulate than our very own Shoaib Akhtar but if one was to ask me who is my role model, the one bowler I would want to be copy, then I would without a doubt say Curtly Ambrose”: Mohammad Zeeshan #cricket pic.twitter.com/Kuz6xcZ0Pq— PakPassion.net (@PakPassion) December 7, 2022
Umran is part of the T20I and ODI squad of the Men in Blue for the ongoing Sri Lanka tour of India. India clinched a close victory in the first T20I against the Dasun Shanaka-led side and Umran finished his spell with 2 wickets giving away 27 runs in his four overs. Interestingly, Umran Malik broke the record of Jasprit Bumrah, who has been clocked at 153.36kph, by bowling a 155kph thunderbolt to dismiss Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka. (Watch the video here)