New Delhi, Jan 9: In recent years, India have been enjoying luxury of having a battery of quality pace bowlers.
But despite all the tall claims, it's a fact that after Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Shami and Mohd Siraj, the back-up or the next group of fast bowlers have not been very impressive so far.
Some have dazzled in patches. Some others appear to be yet-not-ready for high quality internatioal matches.
I's true that the young, talented but inexperienced bunch of pacers would need time, exposure of more international matches to flourish at the highest level. There is no second thought on that.
But there are also a few cases, where some young fast bowlers have not been given regular opportunities to try and excel.
Some have come ad lost in the oblivion. A few others have not been given a long rope. Young pacer Umran Malik was projected as one of the upcoming pace sensations, but now he perhaps have been left to destiny.
Some former cricketers, fans and supporters of Malik have also realised that. Some have voiced their concern, but perhaps their reactions, appeals and suggestions have not been heard.
But former Team India opener Aakash Chopra has gone on record expressing concerns over Umran's absence from recent national squad.
Notably, Umran was also absent from the India A squad set to face England Lions ahead of the 5-match Test series against Ben Stokes' side.
Chopra, sharing his thoughts on his YouTube channel, questioned the sudden disappearance of the pace bowler, who had previously been a prominent figure in India's plans during the transition period in white-ball cricket.
"Till some time back, Umran Malik was everywhere. We took him to the West Indies as well, and it seemed like he could be in the World Cup team too, but now he is not there in any of the teams. He doesn't even get selected for India A," Chopra expressed his concern.
The last appearance for Umran in an Indian jersey was during the tour of West Indies, where he faced a challenging outing. Critics, including SunRisers Hyderabad bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan, have pointed out the need for the pacer to develop additional skills beyond raw pace to enhance his effectiveness as a bowler
The youngsters meteoric rise was highlighted in the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League, where he claimed 22 wickets at an impressive strike-rate of 13.41. His raw pace and ability to trouble batsmen earned him accolades. However, the subsequent 2023 season saw limited opportunities for the pacer, featuring in only 8 matches and securing 5 wickets at an economy of 10.85.
Chopra came to Umran's defense, emphasizing that the bowler had minimal chances with the Indian team. "What happened within three months that a guy first gets selected for the Indian team, gets very minimum chances there, and then goes totally missing? We don't even know where Umran Malik is. Why isn't he there? We should know why this is happening," questioned the former cricketer, highlighting the need for clarity regarding the promising pacer's current status and future prospects. (With IANS support)