Genuine pace of Umran Malik will be hard to ignore: Ian Chappell

SYDNEY: India’s cricketing establishment has over the years shown patience in grooming a pack of world-class bowlers but in near future, the genuine pace of Umran Malik will be hard to ignore, feels former Australia captain Ian Chappell. Chappell, one of the most respected voices in world cricket, says that the advent of IPL has acted as a catalyst for India’s “enormous depth in pace bowling” and it is not showing any signs of abating.

“India’s pace-bowling revolution shows no sign of abating, and the name on IPL watchers’ lips is currently that of the pacy Umran Malik. In the past India has displayed patience in developing its fast-bowling group but the genuine pace of Malik will be hard to ignore,” Chappell wrote in his column for ‘ESPNcricinfo’. “In a world where fast bowling is a valuable commodity, India are now a shining light.”

The IPL indeed has played a huge role in transforming India from a side with potential to a dominant force in world cricket.

“India are currently a dominant international side and if they continue to show the required resolve, will continue to be a leading team. That is an envious position and India can thank the highly successful IPL for much of their lofty reputation.” Chappell feels that India’s pace bowling arsenal is a matter of “envy” for rival countries.

“The development of star quick bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj has been instrumental in India’s improved overseas reputation. There is also a depth below that group, in the successful Ishant Sharma, the underrated Umesh Yadav, and handy back-up in Shardul Thakur.” Chappell, who first toured India in 1969 and played against the top sides in his time, believes the situation now is a far cry from the days when some Indian players were happy being non-playing members in adverse conditions.

“India have evolved from a team that had a reputation where some players treasured the blazer, sweater and cap more than actual selection in the Test side, to one that was extremely difficult to beat under any conditions,” he wrote. “However, India, who had produced the odd faster bowler, lacked a pace conglomerate. Then the IPL began to bare its teeth, and now we have the current generation of fast bowlers to round out a versatile attack, which accompanies a strong batting line-up and a decent catching combination,” he added.