Ravi Shastri speaks out on picking Umran Malik for T20 World Cup

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri reckons that emerging speedster Umran Malik should not be included in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup, which will be played in October-November later this year. Giving further clarification on the same, Shastri said that it is too early to give Umran a big breakthrough in his career and said that the youngster needs to be groomed in order to be in the scheme of things.

The Jammu & Kashmir pacer, who impressed one and all with his lightning speed and accuracy with the ball in IPL 2022, was rewarded with a national call-up for the ongoing home T20I series against South Africa. However, he was not included in the playing XI for the opening game in Delhi on Thursday (June 9), where the Men in Blue went down by seven wickets.

Groom Umran Malik, take him with your team: Ravi Shastri

“No, not T20 as yet. Groom him. Take him with your team. If anything, let him start playing white-ball cricket, that is 50-over cricket, maybe even red-ball cricket. Groom him there with the red ball team and then see how it goes,” said Ravi Shastri while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.

Umran Malik, who was one of the mandatory retentions of Sunrisers Hyderabad for IPL 2022, clocked well in excess of 150 kmph at regular intervals and went on to finish with 22 wickets from 14 matches. More importantly, he also went on to register three and four-wicket hauls as well as a fifer.

Meanwhile, India faced a bitter defeat in the first game. Defending a mammoth total of 211 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, the Indian bowlers succeeded in accounting for the South African top order but were then taken to the cleaners by the solid middle-order duo of David Miller (64) and Rassie van der Dussen (75).

The loss thus ended India’s streak of 12 straight T20I victories starting in last November. Meanwhile, it now remains to be seen whether Umran will be handed his maiden India cap in the second T20I at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on June 12.