ArticlesIPL 2022

IPL 2022 Classics #2: The Turbo-charged Umran Malik

It was a night where things felt more than entertainment. Wriddhiman Saha and Shubhman Gill were unstoppable at the powerplay overs while chasing the mammoth 195. Particularly Saha was honing his methods to bring in runs for his side. Every bowler from SRH was anticipating a dental appointment. That is when the express speedster Umran Malik was brought in to bowl.

Right from the first ball, Umran was roaring with pace. He had the field set up for the settled batters Saha and Gill were unique. Even though the powerplay got over, he had five men inside the ring for them. The short midwicket field placement tempted Gill to play across in his first ball against Umran. The very next ball, the short midwicket fielder, was sent back to the line, which again played a trick in Gill’s mind, and he decided to go offside. A tough off stump line-length ball from Umran rattled the stumps on such activity.

The skipper Hardik Pandya walked in when Umran became even fiercer with a wicket in hand. The first ball bouncer from Umran clashed with the ego of Hardik Pandya. Even though the bruised Hardik managed two fours in the next two balls, their soared short ball of Umran trapped Hardik Pandya in a fine third-man region, which is again due to the fine placement of fielding made for Umran’s extreme pace.

A mind-blowing yorker at 153 kmph was bowled to send off the well-set batter Saha. Yet again, the field placement worked. Three fielders from the offside were inside the ring. Saha thought like Gill to go offside by picking room. But in the end, Umran’s pace beats the bat.

Perfect seam position was brought in to bring the ball angle towards the left-handed David Miller. At the last ball of his spell, he had to bowl his stock ball towards the right-hander Abhinav Manohar to dismantle the bails once again.

In a match where 400 runs were scored, Umran pulled a rabbit out of the hat by picking fifer by giving just 25 runs, including 12 dot balls. He almost sliced through the GT like a hot knife through butter. You can rewatch the spectacular Umran Spell here.

What makes Umran Malik special is his ability to bowl in tight lines consistently. He doesn’t like to give width to the batsmen. This obviously makes the batter search for rooms to hit him. That’s how Umran scalped the wickets of Gill, Saha, and Shreyas (Iyer) earlier in a match against KKR.

Surprisingly Umran is wondrously crisp at targeting the stumps efficiently, which is what we can see lesser in other raw speedsters.

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When a bowler bowls to you at the speed like Umran, it is a moon-landing job for batters to defend him, especially when the T20 demands positive intent. The pace from Umran is a key element to shattering the temperament of the batters. So the batters feel like going flashy against him to get rid of him. In that process, Umran can find those odd wickets of good batsmen.

Read other IPL 2022 Classic Performers here

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