Umran Malik gives blunt response on question about Shoaib Akhtar’s fastest delivery record
Umran Malik had a rather straightforward response when he was asked on whether he targets breaking Shoaib Akhtar’s record for fastest delivery in international cricket
Team India’s star pacer Umran Malik enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2022. The speedster produced consistent performances for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, finishing the season with 22 wickets in 14 matches; the impressive outing in IPL also earned him a maiden India call-up in June for the T20I series against South Africa. Umran has since made five appearances in ODIs, and three in the shortest format of the game.
Umran is also a part of the T20I and ODI squads for the series against Sri Lanka, which begins on January 3. Due to his brilliant speeds, Umran is constantly compared with one of Pakistan’s fastest bowlers, former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. The Pakistan star holds the record for the fastest delivery recorded in international cricket (161kph vs New Zealand, 2002).
Naturally, Umran is often asked if he aims to break Akhtar’s long-standing record; the pacer answered the question again during an interview with News24, insisting that he doesn’t think about the record and is only committed to performing well for India.
Right now, I’m only thinking about performing well for the country. If I do well, and if I’m lucky, I’ll break that. But I don’t think about it at all,” said Umran.
“You don’t get to realise how fast you’ve bowled during the match. It’s only when we come back after the game when we get to know how fast I was. During the game, my only focus is on bowling in the right areas and picking wickets,” the 23-year-old pacer further added.
Umran last played for India last month during the ODI series against Bangladesh. The speedster is widely seen among the probables for the ODI World Cup in 2023, scheduled to take place in India later this year. Umran will continue to appear for the Sunrisers in the 2023 edition of the IPL