If genuine Indian fast bowlers are hard to find, Indian fast bowlers who can clock in excess of 150kmph are vanishingly so. England have Jofra Archer, Australia had Shaun Tait, South Africa boasts Anrich Nortje, Pakistan’s history is glittered with fast bowling marvels, but when it comes to India, there’s not a single fast bowler who sent a shiver down the spines of opposition by just raw pace. Even the current crop of fast bowlers is much more than pace. 

And thus fans can’t get enough of Umran Malik, a fast bowling talent from Jammu & Kashmir, who sends the speed gun soaring every time he comes on to bowl. With four entries in the list of the five fastest balls of the IPL 2022, Malik is ruling the speed charts.

On Sunday, against Chennai Super Kings, Malik surpassed Lockie Ferguson’s record for bowling the fastest ball in the IPL 2022. In the penultimate over of the innings, Malik delivered a 154kmph screaming yorker, which MS Dhoni squeezed down to mid-on for a single. 

A few days ago, Malik ran through Gujarat Titans with his maiden five-wicket haul in the tournament. A searing yorker to get rid of Wriddhiman Saha was clocked at 152.8 kph.

https://twitter.com/Sundarwashi5/status/1519401333773959168

At Hyderabad, Malik is working under the tutelage of South African legend Dale Steyn. He couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. Steyn believes Malik will soon find himself in the national setup, but also cautioned that India needs to manage his workload carefully.

“Umran will play international cricket, no doubt about that. He bowls at 150kmph consistently, and nobody else is doing that in the world right now, maybe Lockie Ferguson is the other guy who does it, but they are very different bowlers,” Steyn told Sportstar.

“But from an Indian point of view, he is the only guy that consistently bowls over 145-150kmph every single ball, so he will play for India. But how India manages him is completely up to them.”

Here’s how fans reacted after Umran bowled the fastest delivery of the season:

https://twitter.com/im_RCult/status/1520789221962788865