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SA T20s: Why Umran was favoured over LSG's Mohsin

Source: PTI
May 22, 2022 20:12 IST
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Umran Malik

IMAGE: Umran Malik, left, pipped Mohsin Khan. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Sunrisers Hyderabad's pace sensation Umran Malik has been named in India's 18-member squad for the five home T20Is against South Africa, starting on June 9.

While former players and experts have all spoken in unison about Umran's selection in the national team, it wouldn't have been a cakewalk had Lucknow Super Giants pacer Mohsin Khan been fully fit.

While Umran has 21 wickets (before Sunday's game), most of which came in the first phase when batters were getting used to his pace, it is understood that the selectors were far more impressed with Mohsin.
The Uttar Pradesh left-armer has taken 13 wickets from 8 matches at an astounding economy rate of 5.93 compared to Umran's 8.93 in 13 games.


However, Mohsin's dodgy hamstring made the decision easier for Chetan Sharma's committee, which also picked Arshdeep especially for his death overs bowling for Punjab Kings.

Arshdeep bowls at early to mid 130's and has only 10 wickets in 13 games (before Sunday's game) but his ability to bowl the change-ups along with wide yorkers and deliveries in the block-hole has earned him a place in the squad.

Arshdeep was with the Indian team as a net bowler in an away series against Sri Lanka last year, while Umran was in the UAE, assisting the national team during T20 World Cup.

The selectors more or less picked up players who have played in last two T20I series for India with Dinesh Karthik, at 36 years of age and 18 years after he first played for India, making his umpteenth comeback.

Karthik's inclusion will certainly put Rishabh Pant under a bit of pressure as both are designated middle-order finishers unlike third keeping option Ishan Kishan, who is a specialist opener. As per indication in the team sheet, Karthik is second keeper and Ishan is a pure batter.

If there was one player, who would feel a bit let-down, it has to be Rahul Tripathi, who, before Sunday, had scored 393 runs at a strike-rate of above 160 and had three fifty plus-scores to his credit.

Tripathi, who has been consistent in the IPL, may get his chance sometime during the season but he might feel hard done by, considering Suryakumar Yadav was left out due to a hand injury.

Hardik back in the mix, Venkatesh remains back-up

In case of Hardik, it was never a question of how he will make a comeback for one of India's guaranteed game-changers but as to when that recall will come.

The Gujarat Titans skipper scored 413 runs in 13 games at a strike-rate of 131-plus but more importantly bowled nearly 25 overs (24.3 overs), which is around a couple of overs per game.

He worked up good pace, got a few wickets but more importantly will give Rohit a sixth bowling option going into the World T20 in Australia.

India's spin department for the T20I series also looks menacing with three wrist spinners -- Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi and Yuzvendra Chahal -- in the mix along with left-arm orthodox Axar Patel.

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