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Umran Malik may have grabbed the spotlight in the two matches he played for SunRisers Hyderabad with the raw pace he is generating, but the 21-year-old fast bowler said he has always been bowling at this pace. Umran bowled the fastest ball of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season in SRH’s shock win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday.

“I have always bowled this fast. Even when I was playing tennis-ball cricket I used to bowl the fastest. We used to play one-over matches and would bowl yorkers throughout the over. So I was always fast,” Umran told team mate and senior fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar after the match on Thursday in a video uploaded on the IPL website.

I first played with the leather ball in 2018 during the (state) under 19 trials and that was where the selectors saw me. It was the first time I came for a trial and I didn’t even know what spikes were. So I was bowling in jogging shoes,” he said.

“A person who later became a friend gave me spikes and then I got into the U-19 one-day team. After 2018 I practiced hard and managed to play in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali tournaments.”

Umran admitted that he had been nervous at first to bowl to the likes of David Warner, Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey in the nets.

“I have been a net bowler for a long time so, very thankful to the franchise for giving me this chance. I was very nervous bowling to these players (David Warner, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey) the first time. I prayed to god to please help me bowl well. Then I just concentrated bowling at a length and try to beat them and started being able to do that regularly,” he said.

He got his first IPL wicket on Wednesday, when he dismissed Royal Challengers Bangalore’s KS Bharat as SRH went on to record just their third win of the season. “I was thinking I just have to take a wicket today, no matter what,” he said.

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