Very Important for India to Accommodate Umran Malik in Playing XI: Kamran Akmal

Edited By: Aditya Maheshwari

Last Updated: January 22, 2023, 3:40 PM IST

Young India pacer Umran Malik (AP Image)

The wicketkeeper batter suggested that Rohit Sharma and co. are riding high on confidence and should look for a clean sweep in the third ODI.

Veteran Pakistan wicketkeeper batter Kamran Akmal feels that India should accommodate tearaway pacer Umran Malik in the ODI playing XI. India picked Shardul Thakur over Umran in the first two ODI series against New Zealand despite his impressive show with the ball in the Sri Lanka series. However, the Men in Blue produced a dominant show against the Kiwis and have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in three-match series.

The countdown for the 2023 World Cup has begun for India and the team management is trying to give chances to all the players who are in contention to get a place in the squad for the mega tournament. With his raw pace, Malik has now become a strong contender to book a spot in the WC squad.

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Akmal said that India should find a way to include Malik in the XI as he feels the current bowling unit which played against New Zealand might struggle in batting-friendly conditions.

“This Indian bowling unit might struggle in conditions that are good for batting, especially against top teams. It is very important for India to accommodate Umran Malik in the playing XI,” Akmal said on his YouTube channel.

Umran holds the record for bowling the fastest ball by an Indian in T20Is (155 kmph), IPL (157 kmph) and ODIs (156 kmph).

However, Akmal feels that the return of Jasprit Bumrah will only add more strength to the Indian pace attack.

“He is getting better and better and can surely prove to be a matchwinner. The bowling lineup will look very strong when Jasprit Bumrah returns,” he added.

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The wicketkeeper batter suggested that Rohit Sharma and co. are riding high on confidence and should look for a clean sweep in the third ODI.

“India should look to whitewash New Zealand. The team is very high on confidence and the players look in a good rhythm. The good thing about this Indian side is that they have won matches while both chasing and defending. We have seen in the past that they prefer to chase. However, they want to tick all the boxes ahead of the World Cup,” he added.

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