“Need To Be Realistic…”: Indian Cricket Team Coach Rahul Dravid’s Big Statement On Umran Malik

The five-match T20I series between India and South Africa will begin on Thursday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. The KL Rahul-led side started practicing for the series on Monday. Umran Malik impressed one and all with his performances in the IPL as he took 22 wickets for SunRisers Hyderabad, and clocked the second-fastest delivery of the season at 157kmph. So it needs to be seen whether he is a given a chance in the first T20I against the Proteas.

Head coach Rahul Dravid spoke to reporters during a press conferene at Arun Jaitley Stadium and he gave his take on the pacer from Jammu and what he can bring to the table.

“Yeah, it is exciting. He certainly bowled quick and with pace. Another thing which has been interesting for me watching the IPL from the outside is the number of Indian bowlers bowling fast. And obviously, being coach of all three formats of the game, I would love to see that translated into the longer formats of the game. But it is brilliant in terms of watching Umran in the nets, you can see that he has got that pace,” said Dravid.

“Obviously, he is learning. He is a young boy and he is getting better, improving. The more he is able to play, the better he is going to get. From our, perspective, very happy to have someone like him in the mix. We have to see how much playing time we can give him, we need to be realistic, we have a large squad, it is not possible to give everyone playing XI time. I think I am certainly someone who likes to have that consistency, give people te and let him feel settled in the positions. It would be interesting time to see how much playing time we give to Umran, we also have Arshdeep here who is brilliant as well. We have experience in the form of guys who have been with us before, Harshal, Bhuvi, Avesh. There are certain things we need to look at but it is nice and exciting to have a couple of young guys in the mix as well. It has given an opportunity for us to broaden our pool and see what they can do,” he added.

The senior players – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah  – have all been rested for the T20Is against South Africa. Youngsters such as Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, who impressed in the recently-concluded IPL have been given an opportunity in the series.

KL Rahul be leading the Indian side in the absence of Rohit. Veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik has also made his way back into the squad on the back of some strong performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.


Hardik Pandya, who led Gujarat Titans to IPL glory in their debut season, has also returned to the squad. Hardik had last played for India in the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE.

India T20I squad: KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(vc) (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

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