Jammu and Kashmir seamer Umran Malik fastest ball came in the series against Sri Lanka when he delivered a stunning 155kmph delivery to dismiss Dasun Shanaka. The ultrafast delivery, where Umran Malik bowling speed hit incredible highs, was the fastest by an Indian in cricket beating Jasprit Bumrah's record set in a Test match when he hit 153.36 kmph.
Umran Malik Key Achievements?
- Fastest ball by an Indian in ODIs: 156 Kmph
- Fastest ball by an Indian in T20I cricket: 155 kmph
- Fastest ball by an Indian in IPL: 157 kmph
Who is Umran Malik?
Every time there is a new kid on the block who bowls fast, the eyes of Indian fans light up. Historically, India is largely known to produce top-quality batters and world-class spinners. But the winds are changing. Over the last decade, fast bowling has picked up massively in the country and India’s fast bowlers have been the key to their success.
While India does have a pack of fast bowlers and a few of them can really crank it up, none of them can match the level of Umran Malik. He is one fast bowler who has caught the attention of the world and his extreme pace has made the cricketing world take notice.
Malik has taken giant strides over the last 15-16 months, ever since he made his IPL debut in October 2021. His India debut came in June 2022 in T20Is against Ireland and his first ODI game was against New Zealand in November 2022. His bowling speed has consistently breached the 150 kph mark and he has dished out some of the fastest balls and spells in the history of Indian cricket.
In fact, he now holds the record for the fastest ball in the IPL by an Indian and also the fastest ball bowled by an Indian in international cricket. Malik’s rise has been a fascinating one. Let’s look at how he has progressed through different stages of his career.
How did things start for Umran Malik?
Umran Malik did not start playing competitive cricket till he was almost 17 years old. Born in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, he constantly played tennis ball cricket. It was only at the age of 17 that the express pacer took to leather ball cricket and in 2018, he was a part of the Jammu & Kashmir Under-19 squad for the Cooch Behar Trophy.
In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Umran admitted that he was noticed by the India Under-19 selectors during that tournament. He had not played any game in the tournament yet and the selectors noticed him in the nets bowling rapidly. That’s when he was asked why he is not featuring in games and they requested the Jammu & Kashmir coach to give Malik a chance.
Umran Malik fastest ball in IPL
It was in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that the world got to first witness Umran Malik’s pace and ability to bowl at high speeds. He was not a part of the first half of the season which was played in India but he was named as the replacement for T Natarajan in the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) squad.
Prior to that, Malik was a part of the SRH travelling squad in 2020 when the IPL took place in the UAE. He was a net bowler. It was only after that season, Malik made his T20 and List ‘A’ debut for Jammu & Kashmir. Before being officially called up, The Srinagar-born fast bowler had played just one T20 and one List ‘A’ encounter, but Umran Malik fastest ball going into very high speeds impressed many.
His IPL debut match was against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and SRH ended up losing that game as they scored just 115/8 in 20 overs. Despite the loss, Umran Malik’s emergence was one of the big positives for the Hyderabad franchise. The speedster from Jammu & Kashmir impressed in his maiden outing as Umran Malik fastest ball clocked over 150 kph during his four-over spell where he conceded 27 runs.
In only his second game which came against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Malik clocked the fastest ball by an Indian in the history of the IPL. He touched 152.95 kph and he returned with figures of 1/21 from four overs. He played a significant part in SRH’s four-run win while defending 141 as he was the most economical bowler on display.
Overall, he played three games in the IPL 2021 and took two wickets at an economy of 8.00, but Umran Malik fastest ball hit over 150 kmph consistently, impressing pundits and fans alike.
Malik’s real test came in the 2022 season of the IPL and he passed it very well. He was one of the three retained players for SRH ahead of the 2022 season, which saw a major overhaul of all the teams. The J&K speedster featured in the starting XI for SRH across all 14 games and he impressed a lot of people with his bowling speed and ability to rush the batters with sheer pace.
Malik finished the IPL 2022 season with 22 wickets, which included one five-wicket haul. Though his economy rate was on the higher side (9.03), he was SRH’s leading wicket-taker and ended up taking 25.58% of the wickets for SRH in the tournament. He was used as an enforcer and nearly 89% of his overs came in the middle phase (overs 6-15). That proved to be mighty effective as 17 out of his 22 wickets came in that period and it was the second-highest overall and the highest for any pacer in the middle-overs in IPL 2022.
Throughout that season, Umran Malik fastest ball was going past the 150 kph mark. In fact, he was arguably the fastest bowler in the tournament and he also notched up the fastest ball in the IPL 2022 which was later broken by Lockie Ferguson. In a game against Delhi Capitals, Malik clocked 156.9 kph which is also the fastest ball by any Indian bowler in the IPL. He beat Anrich Nortje’s record of 156.22 which was recorded in the 2020 edition.
Also read -> Top 10 Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History
Umran Malik fastest ball in a match happened as many as 13 times in the 2022 season. It was only Lockie Ferguson who came close to that record with nine entries.
Umran Malik bowling speed on India's debut and further
After an excellent show in the IPL 2022, Malik was fast-tracked into the Indian T20I team. He was a part of the T20I squad for the five-match series against South Africa at home. He did not get a game in that series but soon after, India toured Ireland for a couple of T20Is where he played both games and also featured in one game in England. The Jammu fast bowler was carted around and he leaked a few runs, but again Umran Malik fastest ball was quite quick for a lot of batters to adjust to.
After that, he went back to domestic cricket and played for J&K in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022-23. He took eight wickets in seven games at an economy rate of 8.08.
After the T20 World Cup, the selectors decided to rest the big names and Umran Malik found himself in the ODI squad for the series in New Zealand where he made his ODI debut. He was India’s most impressive bowler in the 50-over format as he took three wickets and was one of the only two bowlers to pick a wicket for India in ODIs on that tour.
Following that tour, Malik featured in a couple of ODIs against Bangladesh where his speed came back into the limelight. He took four wickets in two games against Bangladesh and continued his impressive run. Against Sri Lanka, he went a notch higher. He dished out the fastest ball bowled by an Indian in international cricket.
Umran Malik bowling speed hit up to 155 kph when he dismissed Dasun Shanaka on that delivery. He went past Jasprit Bumrah’s record of 153.36 kph for the fastest ball ever bowled by an Indian in international cricket. In the three T20Is against Sri Lanka, Malik returned with seven wickets and he is the leading wicket-taker in the series.
Umran Malik’s fast-tracking to the international arena has been in the shorter formats but a lot of pundits around the world feel he can be a real handful in red-ball cricket as well. This is based on Umran Malik fastest ball hitting over 150 kmph consistently. However, the 23-year-old fast bowler has not played a lot of first-class cricket so far. He has featured in only seven first-class matches and has taken 12 wickets.
While Umran Malik bowling speed and fastest spells have impressed one and all, Umran Malik is far from the finished product. The more he plays, the better he will get as he will only grow with experience.