‘You need to unleash him. If he is held tight & you make him a defensive bowler….you are probably losing out on something very special’: Ajay Jadeja on Umran Malik

Umran Malik produced the fastest delivery by an Indian in an international match, clocking 155kph on the speed gun to dismiss the Sri Lanka captain in the first T20I against Sri Lanka on Tuesday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The 23-year-old took two wickets to help India clinch a two-run win and was the talk of the cricket town once again. Former India batter Ajay Jadeja has said that India ‘need to unleash’ the pace sensation to utilise him best.

“You need to unleash him. If he is held tight and you make him into a defensive bowler then you are probably losing out on something very special,” Jadeja was quoted on Cricbuzz. “He might take a little longer to develop into a wicket-taking bowler but he has got something that no other bowler has in India. A lot of players have bounce these days. We see lot of fast bowlers who are pretty good with the seam and all but very rarely do you find a bowler in India with air pace. I just hope and pray that he is used differently.”

He further added, “He is special, he is different from others, and you need him differently. You need to look after him. His fields have to be different. He will take a while because not many bowlers of that pace bowl so you’re not used to seeing where the ball goes. What brings the best out of him. But he showed that in the last over which he bowled. He got hit for a six, then he went further and picked up a wicket. So he will learn as he goes along but it’s for the team and the management also to learn how to use him.”

The former India all-rounder also heaped praise of the India quick’s accuracy to go with his pace, a rare component per Jadeja.

“You have got to look at this man and not assess him with numbers. If you look at his numbers, they may look ordinary everytime but the 4-5 games that I watched him – in New Zealand and the game today – the accuracy that he has for somebody with that pace is very rare. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. As the ball gets older, in the longer version he will be more effective. This man will look special. At the moment, he is looking good but he will look even better with the older ball,” Jadeja said.

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