Irfan Pathan challenges Virender Sehwag’s brutal verdict on Umran Malik

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan recently shared his thoughts on the perplexing situation surrounding Umran Malik during an exclusive interview amidst the IPL 2023 playoffs. Umran Malik, known as India’s fastest bowler and hailed as the next big thing in international cricket, had a surprisingly limited role for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League.

Umran gained fame for delivering the fastest ball by an Indian pacer in the IPL and was retained by SRH for a substantial sum of ₹4 crore. He also made his debut for India in white-ball cricket during the 2022 season. Despite high expectations of spearheading SRH’s pace attack in IPL 2023, Umran only managed to make eight appearances for the franchise.

During the interview, Irfan emphasized that a fast bowler like Umran should never compromise on speed. According to him, if a bowler consistently bowls at 150-plus km/h and contributes as an asset to the national team, line and length automatically fall into place over time.

Earlier, Virender Sehwag was brutal in his assessment of Umran Malik. He slammed the pacer for learning nothing from a legend like Dale Steyn, who is the bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Irfan dismissed concerns about Umran’s line and length, stating, “I don’t think we should be worried about the line and length of someone who bowls quickly.” He believed Umran should focus on maintaining his pace as his primary strength while acknowledging the importance of line and length.

Pathan has privately offered his support to Umran Malik, expressing ongoing conversations between them. Pathan believes that Umran deserved better support and opportunities, citing the example of Tushar Deshpande, who had a similar economy rate but still received playing time and achieved success.

In Pathan’s view, the issue lies with the selectors responsible for choosing the playing XI rather than the franchise itself. With his vast IPL experience of 103 matches, Pathan provides valuable insights into Umran’s current situation and prospects.

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