Former India cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar feels that tearaway pacer Umran Malik is ready to play international cricket.
Malik, the Jammu-based pacer, who made heads turn by clocking speeds above 150kmph consistently in IPL 2022, is a member of India's ongoing T20I series against South Africa.
But Malik didn't get a chance to play in India's seven-wicket loss to South Africa in Delhi on June 9. In the run-up to the series opener, India head coach Rahul Dravid was excited by the prospect of having Malik in the squad but didn't drop much hints on whether the right-arm speedster would get game time in the series against South Africa.
Vengsarkar, though, has no such doubts. "Everybody has a different outlook on the game. But I feel he deserves to play after showing that kind of speed and accuracy in the IPL. Also when you are playing (international cricket) at home, that's the right time to test somebody like him," Vengsarkar was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times.
In his first full season of playing in the IPL, Malik was in top form for Sunrisers Hyderabad, picking 22 wickets from 14 matches at an average of 20.18 and economy rate of 9.03, picking one four-wicket haul and five-wicket haul respectively and playing an instrumental role in picking wickets for his franchise in the middle overs phase. He was also named as the emerging player of the season at the end of the competition.
"He is one of the most exciting prospects I have seen in the last 10 years. I hope he does well because he looks very fit, and he has that aggression of fast bowler. He has got pace and accuracy. I think he should be able to play for India for a long time," concluded the former right-handed batter.