Umran Malik interacts with Jasprit Bumrah after MI defeats SRH in Abu Dhabi, Irfan Pathan reacts

Umran Malik interacts with Jasprit Bumrah after MI defeats SRH in Abu Dhabi, Irfan Pathan reacts

"300 KMPH in one picture…,", Pathan wrote on Twitter.

Jasprit Bumrah and Umran Malik
Jasprit Bumrah and Umran Malik. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Jammu & Kashmir pacer Umran Malik had set the Indian Premier League alight with his hostile pace one game after another. The Sunrisers Hyderabad were knocked out of playoff contention long back and finished the league stage with merely three wins at the bottom of the table.

But in a season they would least want to look back at, SRH got at least one reason to celebrate as they unearthed a young tearaway quick in Malik, who remains an exciting prospect in the light of the mega auctions scheduled next year.

The 21-year-old, included in the team as a Covid-19 replacement for T Natarajan, debuted against Kolkata Knight Riders and grabbed instant attention, clocking over 150 kmph rather nonchalantly. He broke the 150-barrier again – this time by a good margin – when he ejected a 152.95 kmph thunderbolt to RCB’s Devdutt Padikkal to displace Lockie Ferguson from the top spot of the ‘fastest ball of the season’ list.

In this third IPL game, he had to bear the brunt of a marauding assault of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, although when no SRH bowler had the answer to how to stop Kishan’s mayhem, Malik had him caught behind. Eventually, SRH lost by a comfortable margin of 42 in their last fixture of what has been a forgettable season, but far from forgettable has been Malik’s entry at the big stage; the latest addition to the many golden talents the league has unearthed in its 14 years of existence.

After the fixture, Malik was seen interacting with Jasprit Bumrah, with all his attention directed towards what a legend-in-the-making was saying. Reacting to the same, former Indian all-rounder and commentator Irfan Pathan took to his official Twitter and posted a snap with the caption “300 KMPH in one picture…”.

Pathan has had a role to play in Malik’s rise. “Irfan Pathan came and he told me where I can improve. I was scared at first when I had to bowl to Warner and Williamson in the nets. I prayed to God that I just bowl good balls. And, I kept on learning and this has helped me,” the 21-year-old told recently after his team’s four-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Malik’s ride has just only started. Where it will go and how is anybody’s guess. But what he has – express pace – remains a rare commodity in India. And for that, there is every reason to be excited about how his journey unfolds.