Umran Malik was included the India playing XI for the 1st T20I vs South Africa.© BCCI
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt feels India pacer Umran Malik should have made his debut in the first T20I against South Africa. Umran was in top form for SunRisers Hyderabad during IPL 2022 as he took 22 wickets from 14 matches. He was also named as the emerging player of the season, and was rewarded for it with a maiden India call-up for the ongoing five-match T20I series against the Proteas. Butt said the management could’ve rested veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and played Umran instead, which would have given the youngster some much-needed exposure.
“I think they should play him as it will give him exposure. I don’t know why they’re holding him back. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an experienced bowler and he has performed exceptionally for the Indian team. There is no doubt regarding his quality. He could’ve been rested like other players,” Butt said in a video uploaded on his YouTube.
Butt pointed out that unlike other bowlers, Umran offers extra pace, which makes him a valuable asset.
“You lost the match but you could’ve gone with a young bowler, who is different from others, and bowls with express pace. He could’ve presented a surprise element to the batters. Whenever the Indian bowlers missed their length, they were hit for six. This is where extra pace could’ve made a difference,” he added.
South Africa won the first T20I after chasing down the 212-run target.
After being put into bat, India posted a total of 211 for four in 20 overs.
Ishan Kishan top-scored with a 48-ball 76 while Hardik Pandya also played quickfire knock of 31 off just 12 balls.
In reply, South Africa chased down the total, courtesy of Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller’s unbeaten knocks of 75 and 64, respectively.
Topics mentioned in this article