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“I watched him bowl and I was blown away”, Steyn opens up on Umran Malik’s retention before auction

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Umran Malik | BCCI-IPL

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had an erratic IPL 2022 campaign. They began with two consecutive losses before winning five games in a row before losing five games in a row to exit the playoff qualification chase. However, Hyderabad’s inconsistent campaign was almost overshadowed by the emergence of young speedster Umran Malik. 

Clocking speeds of over 150 kmph consistently, Malik took 22 wickets in the season and is currently fourth on the Purple Cap list. This exceptional performance earned him his maiden India call-up last week. 

Umran was selected in the T20I squad for the five-match series against South Africa, which begins on June 9.

SEE ALSO: ICC chairman expects bilateral series to be “squeezed” with longer duration for leagues like IPL

Following the end of SRH’s campaign, bowling coach Dale Steyn, who worked closely with the seamer over the past two months, shared his first thoughts on Umran Malik when he made his debut for the franchise last year.

“Being part of the discussions with the SRH management, we just wanted to make sure that we had some experience because although Umran was amazing and he got extreme raw talent and he was so fast, he was also young. You need somebody to guide him along the way. To have someone like a Bhuvi or Nattu was so important for him,” recalled Steyn while speaking to cricket.com.

Before the IPL auction, the legendary bowler stated that there were conversations inside the SRH camp about how to manage the 22-year-old. Recalling the first time when he saw him, Steyn said that he was “blown away” by the speeds at which the Srinagar lad bowled and how consistently he was able to clock those speeds.

“On first impressions, I had never met him before. I watched him when he made his debut, I was doing some commentary. I watched him bowl and I was blown away by how quick he was, and how consistently fast he was. It’s a whole different thing when you are at the nets and when you watch him bowl, as opposed to watching him on TV. It’s so much faster in real life. Meeting him in real life, realizing his physique and his shape, the interesting character he is, and the way he plays, is obviously different from how I was watching on TV,” said the South African legend.

“He has got an incredibly high work ethic. He wants to keep learning and keep going. You can’t ask for more as a coach and captain.” he said further.

India will take on South Africa at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday (June 09) in the first T20I. KL Rahul has been named the captain of the Indian side. 



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