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Former India coach Ravi Shastri weighs in on Umran Malik’s chances of making into India’s World Cup squad

Ravi Shastri backs Umran Malik for World Cup qualification

Cricket News

Former India coach Ravi Shastri weighs in on Umran Malik’s chances of making into India’s World Cup squad

India’s latest pace sensation, Umran Malik, has made headway since his international debut. The speedster from Jammu dropped another brilliant bowling performance in the third and final T20I against New Zealand on Wednesday, returning with figures of 2 for 9 in just 2.1 overs. Impressed by his recent performances, former coach Ravi Shastri has backed the young pacer’s possibility of booking a place in India’s 15-men World Cup squad.

The competition for spots in the squad is fierce, especially for the pace-bowling department. But Umran has a few things going in his favour. Firstly, his pace is his most significant stand-out quality; finding a bowler who hits 150 km/h consistently is a rare sight in India. Secondly, Umran has proved that he can break partnerships in crucial moments of any game. Lastly, he has been in flying form, gulping up 15 wickets in his last 8 games, which includes 2 three-wicket hauls and just one wicketless game.

Lot of competitors, but injuries will play a part: Ravi Shastri

There are several suitors for the pace-bowling positions. Jasprit Bumrah is expected to return for the World Cup alongside his partner in crime, Mohammed Shami. On the other hand, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh have their own cases to make. Moreover, Hardik Pandya’s return to full-bowling form is yet another good news for India. Despite the situation, former coach Ravi Shastri has no reason to believe why Umran cannot make it to the final 15.

“I think he plays an opportunity more in 50-over cricket than in T20s. And with the amount of cricket being played, he will always be in the mix because there could be injuries cropping up at any time. There is a deadline to announce your side for the World Cup. The fitness of players will be the key. That’s why this IPL will be crucial to see how they (bowlers) take the load,” Shastri said while commenting on Wednesday during the third T20I between India and New Zealand.

“You would want Bumrah back, really, because he is magical. He is a star. Him back in the side fully fit will really lift this Indian team. And Hardik is such a key component. Him bowling for India makes this team a different side. India has got a great record at home. The boys are fit – Bumrah – it can make a big difference. You’ve got variety in Arshdeep as well; Kuldeep and Chahal have bowled well. Washington Sundar is always threatening, so it’s a good bunch,” Shastri made the equation more challenging for the pacer from Jammu.

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