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I do believe Umran Malik should play: Sunil Gavaskar ahead of third India-South Africa T20I – Firstcricket News, Firstpost


India have failed to defend totals on both occasions in the two matches of the five-T20I series vs South Africa.

India trail the five-T20I series 0-2. (Source: AP)

0-2 down in the five-match T20I series vs South Africa, India would look to return to winning ways when they lock horns with the Proteas in the third and crucial fixture of the series today. India’s bowling has come under scrutiny after outings in the first two fixtures and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar wants to see Umran Malik in action. The speedster has been making the right noise since his terrific IPL 2022 season, which also helped him break into the squad for the ongoing home series vs South Africa.

“The last time I got really excited at seeing an Indian player was Sachin Tendulkar. And after that I am excited to see Umran Malik. I do believe he should play, but again they might say that let us win the third one and get ourselves in a situation and then may be they can think about experimenting. It also depends on what the kind of surface they will get at Vizag,” he said on Star Sports.

Read: Bhuvi returns to wickets with magic spell in 2nd T20I

While Bhuvneshwar Kumar looked good in the last game vs South Africa, where he returned with figures of 4/13, he is yet to get support from the other end. The likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel and Axar Patel are yet to find the desired rhythm and India’s bowling has certainly lacked bite.

“The major problem is the fact that they don’t have wicket-taking bowlers in this squad apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal. So, you take wickets and then you get the opposition under pressure. So, in both the matches, did anybody look like getting a wicket apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar? He was getting the ball to move. That is the issue which is the reason why a total of 211 was something that they could not defend,” he said on Star Sports after the match.

There is a possibility of seeing either Umran Malik or Arshdeep Singh making their debut at some point in the series. While the former has the extra pace, the young left-arm seamer was very accurate at the death for Punjab Kings in the IPL. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith feels India must try both the seamers in this series.

“I think they have to be in the conversation at some point in the series,” said Smith, who was part of the same discussion.

“Why rest Bumrah if you are not going to get the answer? Arshdeep and Umran, you want to see them play at some point in the series. You are looking to pick you squad for the World Cup in October so I think they need an opportunity. They need a wicket-taking bowler and Umran Malik is a wicket-taker… we know that. Arshdeeep has been great at the death. India need to know what they are capable of.”

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