Former Indian cricketer, VVS Laxman reckons youngsters like Umran Malik should learn how to shut out outside influences in order to be successful at the highest level. Laxman, who is currently the director of cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) said that he may not have to put any protection around Umran if the young tearaway pacer understands how to focus on the game despite the face of distractions.
Umran Malik has been the find of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad after turning heads with his express pace towards the end of last season, Umran has continued on that this season, consistently bowling at the speed of more than 150kph and even cranking it up to 157kph at one point.
During a recent chat on the sidelines of a Dream Set Go event, VVS Laxman said, “When you are playing at the highest level, very soon you realize that you have to control your actions (off the field). There will be so many advisors, so many expectations to fulfill but players who play at the highest level very soon cordon all that off and focus on what is to be done.”
Apart from setting the speed guns on fire, Umran Malik has witnessed a hot and cold season so far. He has conceded 52 and 48 runs in his last two matches without taking a wicket but was on fire before that, taking a five and four-wicket haul.
Talking about the same, VVS Laxman said, “I am sure Umran or anyone who plays for the country will learn that very soon. The sooner they learn that, they will be successful. So no need of bouncers (around him), it is important to bowl bouncers.”
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh said at the same event that he hoped to see Umran Khan playing for India in the T20 World Cup to take place in Australia later this year.
Elaborating the same, Harbhajan Singh said, “I want to see him on the Indian team. Name a pacer bowling at over 150 and not playing for the country. So I think this is a great thing. He will inspire many youngsters to take up this game, where it has come from and what he is doing in the IPL. I don’t know if he will be selected or not but if I was part of the selection committee, I would have given him a go-ahead. Umran Malik should partner Jasprit Bumrah when India plays in Australia.”