'Umran has been embraced by the franchise. He is an exciting cricketer; there's no question about that. Everyone enjoys watching him bowl.'
SunRisers Hyderabad speedster Umran Malik is the talk of the town for his lightning fast deliveries, and head coach Tom Moody says the young Jammu and Kashmir player has been given the license "to run in and express himself" with the ball.
The 22-year-old from Srinagar has consistently bowled deliveries clocking 145 to 150 km per hour this IPL. He bowled the fastest delivery in IPL history, clocking 153.1 km/hour against Chennai Super Kings -- but has leaked quite a lot of runs -- 173 in five matches so far, for five wickets, at an economy of 9.61.
Moody though is not worried. He says "there is going to be a higher economy" due to his style of bowling.
"At the end of the day, when you are bowling 150 kph in this format, you don't expect you are not going to go for runs. He goes for a lot of runs behind the wicket. But it's not like he is getting smashed down the ground or through the covers."
"So you have got to accept that with his style of bowling there's going to be a higher economy to that. And his role is to run in and express himself and be himself," the coach added, at the post-match conference after his SunRisers Hyderabad’s seven-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.
"We accept he is going to go for runs because of the nature of how he bowls, but what we want to see from him is the return in terms of wickets."
SunRisers bowling coach Dale Steyn was seen jumping off his seat at the team dug-out, clenching his fists and celebrating the yorker that Umran Malik bowled, at the speed of above 148 kph, to dismiss KKR captain Shreyas Iyer.
"There is a lot of planning that goes on with any sort of match-up against any opponent. I think the emotion that was shown in the dug-out was more about the joy for a young fast bowler getting such an important wicket for us," Moody said.
"Umran has been embraced by the franchise. He is an exciting cricketer; there's no question about that. Everyone enjoys watching him bowl. He bowled particularly well (against KKR). He stuck to his plans and we were quite meticulous trying to help him understand his role. He got his reward for that, which is great."
The youngster, who was retained by the team for Rs 4 crores, ahead of the IPL mega auction earlier this year, was quite economical against KKR, conceding just 27 runs from his quota of four overs with two wickets.
"He (Umran) is clearly still at the beginning of his journey. He is learning every single day and having the likes of Dale Steyn around him is an enormous boost for him because he is learning so much on the go.
"We try to build a plan and a field around that and help him develop as a young fast bowler."
Rahul Tripathi top-scored with a 37-ball 71 to set up the win over KKR.
"Rahul has batted very well in this tournament. He was struck down with a cramp in the last game which was a shame for him," Moody said.
"It's great to see him come out and grab the game by the scruff of the neck and show leadership in the top order."
Talking about his side's three wins on the trot after losing their first two matches, Moody said, "We have got a lot of new faces in the squad; it's finding their way, feeling settled in the environment, settling in their roles.
"Everyone feeling comfortable with the balance in the side and we have built confidence from the first win onwards."
On senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Moody said: "Bhuvi is the leader of the attack. He plays a role which is probably the hardest. That is the impact bowler in the powerplay and also the person who shuts down the game at the death."