The recent edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw a host of breakout performances and a few handful cricketers were roped into the national team based on their rich exploits in the lucrative T20 tournament. Dinesh Karthik was among the few and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The 37-year-old batted with a strike-rate that almost touched 160 and stood above expectations in the finisher’s role.
However, the likes of Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh, who too had an inspiring IPL, were not given game time in the recently-concluded T20 series against South Africa. But former India pacer Zaheer Khan believes that just being with the team is “very handy”, adding it allows young talent to “pick on the brains” of seasoned fast bowlers.
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Sharing his views on the subject, Zaheer during an interaction with Cricbuzz noted: “When you’re on tours, you usually have these get togethers, you go there, you have conversations with bowlers, get to meet the opposition bowlers as well.”
In fact the 2011 World Cup winner recalled his days and said: “I remember having Jason Gillespie a McGrath for that matter, Wasim Akram. All these guys you had conversation and you end up talking about bowling, what they used to do. How they used to approach the game.
“So those conversation go long way, it’s not about the formal way of learning, but it’s about learning through experience. So from that point of view it’s always a help and if you are with the squad so from the motivation point of view it is a huge plus.”
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Umran was one of the main attractions in IPL 2022 and his ability to constantly clock 150 kmph has helped him emerge as a promising youngster from the Indian camp. Not only Indians, but the world took notice of his talent and Zaheer feels the opportunity gave Umran an assurance that he is one step closer from his ultimate dream, which is to play for India.
“For someone like Umran, he knows that he’s one step closer from what he wants to achieve. So that makes a huge difference.”
“If someone gets injured, you can get an opportunity. The series is going tough and management is looking at some other ways of staying ahead of tactics, you have a chance.
“So when you’re with the team, it’s always a big plus in terms of getting the motivation. So I think for someone like Umran this tournament has been of great help, knowing that he’s just a step closer now,” he added.
The duo are also part of the Indian squad, which will travel to Ireland for two T20Is and it will be interesting to see if they get a chance to showcase their talent in foreign soil.