"What are we waiting for?" - Saba Karim on whether Umran Malik should be part of Indian pacers' succession plan

England v India - 3rd Vitality IT20
Umran Malik has represented Team India in three T20Is thus far

Saba Karim believes Team India selectors should include Umran Malik in their succession plan for aging pacers.

India A will face New Zealand A in three four-day matches, with the first game to be played on September 1. Malik is part of the 16-member Indian side picked for the series.

During an interaction on the Sports 18 show 'Sports Over the Top', Saba Karim was asked whether Malik should be part of the succession plan as India looks to revamp their aging pace department. He replied affirmatively, elaborating:

"He better be, this is the timeline. They need to set some timelines for Umran Malik to get in because I think for the first time ever we have found someone who can bowl 150-plus on a consistent basis. So what are we waiting for?"

Karim expressed delight at the Jammu and Kashmir speedster's selection for the first-class games against the visiting Kiwi side. The former India selector said:

"I am glad that they have picked him here and he will get an opportunity to bowl against a New Zealand A side, which is supposedly a very strong side."

Malik has picked up seven wickets in the three first-class matches he has played to date. He played one game during India A's tour of South Africa last year, in which he picked up just one wicket while conceding 90 runs.

"The selectors have addressed two aspects" - Saba Karim on the India A side to face New Zealand A

Priyank Panchal will skipper India A against New Zealand A
Priyank Panchal will skipper India A against New Zealand A

Saba Karim was happy that experienced first-class performers have been retained in the India A squad. He observed:

"What I like about this selection for India A is that the selectors have addressed two aspects. One is they have maintained continuity, so you see Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran. You also see Prasidh Krishna."

Saba Karim was also elated by the young performers getting a look-in as well. The former India wicketkeeper-batter explained:

"On the other hand, some of the top performers have been rewarded, like for instance Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, also the left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar. So it's a healthy mix of players who have played for India A before and there are several of them who will get an opportunity to play for India A for the first time."

Sarfaraz Khan and Saurabh Kumar were also part of the India A side that played three matches against South Africa A last year. While the Mumbai batter scored 85 runs in the two innings he played, the Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner picked up four wickets in two matches.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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