Umran Malik was the one player who remained the center of attention during the build-up to the five-match T20I series against South Africa, as well as throughout the match. After an excellent performance in the IPL 2022, and with many veterans and experts pushing him for India’s T20 World Cup selection, cricket fans desired to see him make his debut for the country. Throughout the series, India, on the other hand, supported their first-choice players, keeping their starting XI unaltered while Umran warmed the bench. Despite the delay, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has argued for Umran’s inclusion in the World Cup.

India picked an 18-man roster for the T20I series against South Africa, with Umran earning his first call-up after a strong showing in the IPL 2022. Even though he did not participate in the series, selectors have decided to keep him for India’s next visit to Ireland, where they will play two T20Is later this month.

“He hasn’t played; he hasn’t yet made his debut,” Irfan told Star Sports on Umran’s prospects of making India’s T20 World Cup team. Make his debut first, and then observe how he does after that. But don’t forget about him if he makes his debut, and heaven forbid if it doesn’t go well. We’ve never had a bowler that bowls at 150 kph; now we have one, so be cautious with him over the long haul.” You have to see how long he can last and how far his athleticism will carry him.”

The great all-rounder praised the kid for his one-of-a-kind quality – raw speed – and encouraged the selectors and team management to stick with him and help him progress.