Umran Malik is the second Indian player I'm excited to see after Sachin Tendulkar, says Sunil Gavaskar

Gavaskar says Malik must play in the third T20I against South Africa.

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Umran Malik and Sunil Gavaskar
Umran Malik and Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar heaped praises on Indian fast bowling sensation, Umran Malik, saying that the last time he was as excited to see an Indian player like Malik was for Sachin Tendulkar. Gavaskar also reckons that the pacer should play for India in the upcoming T20I game against South Africa in Vizag.

While Gavaskar believes that Malik must start at Vizag, he feels that it depends on what kind of wicket will be on offer and also the fact that the team might not be willing to experiment with their playing XI for a must-win game. The 72-year-old feels that India currently does not have wicket-taking bowlers in the team apart from seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

“The last time I got really excited at seeing an Indian player was Sachin Tendulkar. And after that I am excited to see Umran Malik,” said Gavaskar.

They need a wicket-taking bowler and Umran Malik is one: Sunil Gavaskar

Gavaskar feels that, in the two T20I matches against South Africa in the ongoing series, nobody apart from Kumar looked like taking wickets, and that was the major reason why India could not defend the target of 212 in the first T20I.

“I do believe he should play, but again they might say that let us win the third one and get ourselves in a situation, and then maybe they can think about experimenting,” said the former India batter on Star Sports.

South Africa won the first match after they chased 212 with seven wickets in hand, thanks to David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen with their unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership of 131. South Africa won the second game by four wickets and ten balls to spare, chasing a target of 149, taking them one win away from clinching the five-match series. India, needing three wins in a row to win the series, might change their playing XI in search of a winning team.

“Arshdeep and Umran, you want to see them play at some point in the series. You are looking to pick you squad for the World Cup in October so I think they need an opportunity. They need a wicket-taking bowler and Umran Malik is a wicket-taker… we know that,” said Gavaskar. 

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