Emerging fast bowler Umran Malik received his maiden Indian team call-up for the five-match home series against South Africa. The right-arm pacer endured an impressive Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 campaign, where he claimed 22 wickets in 14 matches.
Malik was part of the first training session that the team conducted a few days back at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. Bowling in the nets during practice, the 22-year-old was also seen conversing with head coach Rahul Dravid.
Claiming that everyone is like brothers in the Indian dressing room following his first day with the team, Umran Malik said in an interview with the BCCI:
"I was really excited for the first day with the team. It was a big day because joining Team India practice is really exciting. Was positive that I would bowl well in the nets, has that confidence. Everyone here are like brothers."
The management opted to rest senior bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami for the T20I series against the Proteas. Instead, IPL prospects such as Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh were picked while others are rejuvenating for the England tour after a hectic IPL campaign.
Expressing his delight after talking to head coach Dravid on his first day, Malik said:
"I was really delighted at the prospect of talking with Rahul Dravid. Felt really nice meeting such a legend. He told me to keep continuing what I am doing and that I am on the right path."
The Indian fast bowling unit for the series also comprises Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan.
"It was really good learning from Paras Mhambrey and Rahul Dravid on my first day" - Umran Malik
Umran Malik is arguably the fastest bowler India has ever produced. Entering the circuit as a net bowler for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), he was given a brief stint in IPL 2021. The franchise bestowed a lot of faith on him by retaining him ahead of the player auction.
Malik worked under Dale Steyn in the recently concluded edition and has developed into a more robust bowler who offers a lot more than just raw pace.
Explaining how it was to work under head coach Dravid and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, he said:
"Paras Mhambrey was telling me what to do with each ball in training and I got a lot of confidence from that. It was really good learning from him and Dravid on my first day."
Team India will face South Africa in the first of the five T20Is tomorrow (June 9) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.