Umran Malik, an Indian fast bowler, has attracted the attention of legends and cricket fans all around the globe with his raw, thrilling speed. The 23-year-old pacer’s efforts, first for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and now for the Indian squad, have drawn attention. The way Umran set up Bangladesh batter Najmul Hasan Shanto, smashing his off-stump and sending it cartwheeling with a 151 kph thunderbolt was a fast bowler’s dream in November when he took Devon Conway of New Zealand for India’s first-ever ODI wicket.

Dale Steyn, Brett Lee, and Wasim Akram—three of the finest fast bowlers ever—have all remarked on Umran’s speed. Since the IPL days, Steyn has been a loud fan of Umran, whilst Lee likened the Indian speedster to a Ferrari. Even Akram voiced his disappointment that Umran was left out of India’s T20 World Cup roster. Along with Sunil Gavaskar, other Indian giants have received acclaim, like Dilip Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev, but one acknowledgment, in particular, is expected to top them all.

“The last Indian athlete whose appearance genuinely thrilled me was Sachin Tendulkar. I’m eager to meet Umran Malik after that. I do think he should perform, “When Umran received his first call-up to the Indian team in June, Gavaskar made the statement during the T20I series between India and South Africa. Nearly seven months after Gavaskar’s big remark ignited the internet, Umran has responded, stating he is appreciative of the former India captain’s praise.

“I’m grateful, sir. I’m grateful if seeing me makes him happy. I like it when people compliment me. It’s a big issue to me, “In an interview with News24 Sports, Umran said.

Umran was fast-tracked into the squad last year and has since played in ODIs and Tests. Like any burgeoning kid, Umran’s next step is to wear whites. Umran, who exudes extreme confidence, declares that he is prepared to take on whatever position the team assigns him and that he is open to playing in any format if doing so would help him improve.

“You see, I have to play any cricket that I get a call about. Whatever it is, Ranji is included. I will play everything that comes my way, even when I am not on national duty. I’m willing to participate in any format. Every cricketer dreams of wearing the Test jersey and hopefully, whenever I get the chance, I will give my best,” added Umran.