Why Umran Malik is not playing today: India haven’t made any change to their Playing XI in a must-win encounter.
During the third T20I of the ongoing South Africa’s tour of India in Visakhapatnam, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma has won the toss and chose to bowl for the third time in a row.
“Same thing, bowl again. The colour [of pitch] is different, has a yellowish tinge to it. Feels hard, looks like a good wicket to bat. Just want to focus on the areas we can improve,” Bavuma told Star Sports at the toss.
With Bavuma confirming a same Playing XI from the previous match in Cuttack, the development means that premier wicket-keeper batter Quinton de Kock will miss his second match of the series due to a hand injury.
Why Umran Malik is not playing today vs South Africa?
Having lost his first two matches as the captain of India, Rishabh Pant admitted to be looking to bowl first himself. Asked to bat first for the third consecutive time in the series, Pant laid emphasis on “looking to play good cricket” and “better execution” in order to avoid a series defeat with two more matches to be played.
“We would have bowled as well. But as an Indian team we are not looking at the toss too much, just looking to play good cricket. We spoke about getting better in execution. Planning and tactics are all fine, but and if we can execute better we will be fine. Looks like a better wicket, but feels a bit soft underneath,” Pant told Star Sports at the toss.
Much like South Africa, even India have refrained from making any change to their Playing XI despite losing the first two matches. As a result, uncapped pacers Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik will have to wait for a national debut.
Malik, in particular, has become a fan favourite even before playing for India. Having bowled at express pace throughout Indian Premier League 2022 for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Malik in an exciting prospect whom fans are waiting to see play at the highest level.
Before the start of this series, head coach Rahul Dravid had talked about Malik having a lot to learn and how the team management doesn’t want to hurry his national debut. While Bavuma has called Malik a “special talent“, former England cricketers Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan have already made cases for Malik playing for India.