IPL 2021: Malik clocks fastest delivery; has Williamson, Kohli gushing over his pace

Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Umran Malik on Wednesday night clocked 153kmph on the speed gun, the fastest delivery in the IPL 2021 season, and had both his skipper Kane Williamson and India captain Virat Kohli gushing over the new speed demon of Indian cricket.

While Williamson called him a “special” talent, Kohli said that India needs to nurture him to “maximise the potential of our fast bowling stocks”.

Malik claimed (1/21) as SRH defended a small total against RCB on Wednesday, winning by four runs. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the accolades for denying a batsman of the calibre of AB de Villiers six runs in the final two deliveries, Malik caught the eye for the sheer pace he generated.

“Umran certainly is special. We’ve seen him in the nets for a couple of seasons. Special opportunity for him and it’s not surprising to see him come and do well. Been a really valuable addition to the side. I try and keep it really simple with him but he’s got a lot of mates in the team and they share the message and he takes the game on,” said Williamson after the match, the penultimate game for SRH who now play Mumbai Indians on Friday to end their campaign in IPL 2021.

Kohli was also happy to see Malik clocking in around 150 kph regularly. “Good to see a guy bowling at 150 clicks. It’s important to understand the progress of individuals from here, how to look after yourself. We’ve got to maximise the potential of our fast bowling stocks,” said the India and RCB skipper.

West Indies bowler Jason Holder, a senior member of the SRH team, said the pace is Malik’s “biggest asset.”

“The first thing to mention is his pace, that is his biggest asset. He is very hard to get hold of and has been deceiving the batters through his pace. That extra pace adds a boost to any bowling attack,” said during a virtual post-match press conference.

Holder was said it was good that Malik had good control over his bowling at this pace. “It is good to see his control as well. A lot of guys who have bowled quick over the years, generally they can be erratic but has been pretty consistent,” Holder said.

On his IPL debut a couple of days back, Malik had clocked 151.03 kph, the fastest delivery bowled by an Indian in the ongoing IPL 2021. The 21-year-old Malik was roped in as a short-term Covid-19 replacement for T Natarajan, who had tested positive ahead of Hyderabad’s encounter against Delhi Capitals on September 22. Malik came into SRH playing XI in place of pacer Sandeep Sharma and he impressed everyone with his raw pace in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Dubai.

KKR and New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson have bowled the fastest delivery of the IPL 2021 so far, clocking 152.75 kph.