Zaheer Khan and Ravi Shastri back Umran Malik, believe New Zealand tour exposure will help his career

Indian pacer Umran Malik in practice session. (Photo Source: BCCI)

After missing out on the T20 World Cup, Jammu&Kashmir pacer Umran Malik will be charged up to make a statement and will hope to cement his place in India’s scheme of things by virtue of his performances during India’s tour of New Zealand. The 22-year-old is likely to play all three T20Is against New Zealand and most importantly, the conditions at Wellington, Mount Maunganui as well as Napier will suit the speedster.

He is someone who can consistently clock 150 kmph and is something that can trouble the Kiwi batters in their backyard.

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan thus believes that Umran can be extremely instrumental in New Zealand and more so, because of his pedigree as a pacer. The 44-year-old backed Umran ahead of the series and mentioned how the opportunity can help the bowler get much-needed exposure in international cricket.

“The variety in your pace attack is a must and you have seen teams following that kind of pattern. You need a left-arm bowler, you need someone who can swing the ball, you need someone who is an out-and-out fast bowler. If everything is in one package, then even better but if not, you would like to use the variety in your attack in the bowling line-up and use different conditions well.

Umran has been a very exciting talent and this kind of exposure is definitely going to help him, it is about how he takes things forward if he wants to grab the spot consistently,” Zaheer said in an interview with journalists on Prime Video.

There is no substitute for genuine pace: Ravi Shastri on Umran Malik 

Former India Head Coach, Ravi Shastri also reminded how India missed the trick of not including Umran Malik in the T20 World Cup squad. Shastri believes that there is no substitute for genuine pace and thus questioned team India’s selection process.

“He (Umran) is one of the fastest bowlers in India and you saw what happened in the World Cup where genuine pace rattled opposition, whether it was Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Anrich Nortje. So, there is no substitute for genuine pace. Even if you are defending small totals. So this is an opportunity for Umran, hopefully, he will learn from this exposure,” Shastri said on the same platform.

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