Irfan Pathan has revealed that he always tells Umran Malik to work on improving his line and length without compromising his pace.
Umran has been picked in Team India's 18-member squad for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa based on his performances in IPL 2022. The express pacer, who scalped 22 wickets for the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), finished as the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
During a discussion on the Star Sports show 'Game Plan', Pathan was asked about the message he has given to Umran. He responded:
"I always tell him that you have to pay attention to your line and length but you should not reduce your pace at all. The more he tries to keep the ball close to the three stumps and keeps on bowling the hard length, everything else will come with time."
The former Indian pacer also shared the process every cricketer, including Umran, needs to follow to be successful at the international level. Pathan elaborated:
"I have just a simple advice for him after every match, whether it was in the IPL or will be going forward - what you have done well today and where you have to improve. This process has to be there till he or anyone else plays cricket. We have seen Sachin Tendulkar follow this process although no one else has had a career like him."
Ravi Shastri also recently spoke about the advice he would give Umran. The former Team India head coach wants the pacer to concentrate more on his line and pointed out that his length is almost perfect.
"He still has a lot of things to work on" - Irfan Pathan on Umran Malik
Pathan also shared some of the areas of improvement for Umran, explaining:
"He still has a lot of things to work on, whether we talk about the slower one or bowling to the right-left combination. His seam remains straight and he talks about slight outswing, but that will take time."
Umran's mentor also spoke about the discussions he has had with the coaches and selectors at various levels about the Jammu speedster. Pathan said:
"If you still see his background, he has not played much first-class cricket. Whenever I have spoken to India-A coaches or the ones at the higher level or the selectors, when they ask me I only say about Umran that back him when is not doing well and push him when he is doing well."
Umran Malik will hope to get his maiden Team India cap in the T20I series against the Proteas. The express pacer could be in the reckoning for a spot in the Men in Blue's World Cup squad if he gives a decent account of himself against the visiting South Africans.
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