Umran made his much-awaited Team India debut in the first game against Ireland on Sunday, June 26. However, the express pacer could not leave a huge impact, conceding 14 runs in the only over he bowled.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra reflected on India's bowling performance in Sunday's game. While lauding Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal's efforts with the ball, he questioned the decision to give only one over to Umran, elaborating:
"Why did Umran Malik bowl just one over? There is no doubt about it that the over was expensive but the 12-over match was slightly cruel. Only two bowlers could have bowled three overs, one was Bhuvi and the other was Chahal. I thought it was a bit of a miscalculation."
The cricketer-turned-commentator reckons Harry Tector's presence at the crease might have forced Hardik not to use the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) speedster. Chopra explained:
"Hardik bowled with the new ball at the start and picked up a wicket. He saved an over for Avesh at the end. In my opinion, he could have bowled Umran one more but the way the match was flowing, Tector was not getting out, he probably felt that is better to wait till he gets out."
Aakash Chopra added that Umran Malik's early impressions are that he is quick but it will take time for him to blossom into an international bowler, which is the case with everyone.
"Does he actually merit a place in the long run?" - Aakash Chopra on Axar Patel
Aakash Chopra questioned Axar Patel's place in the Indian T20I side from a long-term perspective. He observed:
"What about Axar Patel? That's another question, does he actually merit a place in the long run? Because only one out of Axar and Ravindra Jadeja can play, is he bringing enough value, that's the big question. Few months have not been good."
The 44-year-old pointed out that the left-arm spinner might be found wanting in Australian conditions. Aakash Chopra elaborated:
"I like Axar but the way he is bowling in T20 cricket, if there is no help from the pitch especially if you are looking towards the World Cup, there will be no help, you will not be able to use Axar Patel at all. Axar Patel could actually be a force to reckon with on dusty Indian pitches but if you play him in overseas conditions, I feel he is not pulling his weight into the side."
Axar did not have a great T20I series against South Africa as well. The spin-bowling all-rounder picked up just three wickets in the four matches he bowled and was quite expensive at times.
Q. Should Umran Malik have been given a second over?
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