Umran Malik, arguably the fastest pacer in Indian cricket right now, turned 23 on Tuesday. The right-arm fast bowler from Jammu received wishes from some well-known former Indian cricketers like Irfan Pathan and Robin Uthappa. “I wish young speedster Umran Malik a very happy birthday. May you break many stumps,” Irfan tweeted. Happy Birthday Umran Malik Wishing you a super successful year! Looking forward to seeing more of you on the big stage!!” Uthappa tweeted. BCCI also took to Twitter to wish Umran on his 23rd birthday.
“Here we wish #TeamIndia’s young pace sensation @umran_malik_01 a very happy birthday,” BCCI wrote alongside an illustration of the fast bowler. However, the tweet did not go down well with some fans. They bombarded the BCCI with tough questions about Umran Malik’s non-selection in the current New Zealand T20Is.
India vs New Zealand live score, 3rd T20I
After the semi-final of India’s exit from the T20 World Cup in Australia, many pundits pointed to the need for a fast pacer in the Indian bowling unit. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh looked toothless when there was no swing on offer, as they did in the semi-final against England. India’s team selection for the New Zealand series also painted a similar picture. Attention was paid to pace with the return of Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj to the squad.
However, the XI playing in the second T20I at Mount Maunganui after the series opener in Wellington was wiped out with no ball being bowled saw little change, at least in the mentality. Umran was ignored as India clung to Bhuvneshwar’s experience and young Arshdeep’s deceit.
Even in the third T20I, the only change India made was to replace off-spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar with medium pacer Harshal Patel as Umran Malik continued to warm up the benches.
Umran burst onto the international stage in the Ireland series. He was rewarded with the Indian cap after a great showing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022. Umran played a few matches in Ireland and then one against England but was then dropped.
This is why fans were not happy with BCCI and filled the comment section of their birthday tweet for Umran Malik.
This is how the fans reacted to BCCI’s tweet on Umran Malik’s birthday
Tuesday’s game in Napier has proved to be a virtual decider. India leads the series 1-0, but if New Zealand wins the third T20I, the three-game series ends in 1-1. Hardik Pandya will have other ideas. He will try to win the second series victory as captain. Remember, as captain of India, he has yet to lose a match.