Impressed by his raw pace, former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar feels rookie pacer Umran Malik should board the flight to Australia for this year's T20 World Cup.
"I hope so because he (Umran) is a very exciting talent. He did well in the IPL and he deserves a chance as he looked the best bowler in the format. I hope he is in the plane and I am sure he will do well if given an opportunity," Vengsarkar told reporters, in Mumbai, on Saturday.
The T20 World Cup is set to be played in Australia in October-November later this year.
"He (Umran) is young and raring to go. You must give an opportunity to someone who is in form. He is young, keen to play and hungry for success," added the former national chairman of selectors.
Umran had picked up 22 wickets in 14 games for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL this year but it is his ability to bowl consistently at 95 miles per hour that has caught the imagination of all.
He was subsequently rewarded for his consistency by earning his maiden national call-up for the T20 series against South Africa but did not get a game.
He has also been selected for the T20 series against Ireland, commencing on Sunday and it remains to be seen whether he gets to make his India debut.
Vengsarkar's 1983 World Cup-winning teammate and former India all-rounder Roger Binny also felt that Umran should be given a chance straightaway in all three formats.
"There is definitely going to be a bigger bunch of fast bowlers coming through now. And he (Umran) should be given a chance straightaway because he has proved that he is quick and if you saw him bowl some of the yorkers in the IPL that was brute force. So you cannot keep a youngster out for that long," Binny said.
"Well, I am not surprised that somebody, who is coming to the scene (and bowling over 150 kmph), because we have a lot of people (bowling) around the 140-142 area for the last six-seven years and especially in the IPL. I am not surprised (by the sheer pace of Umran)."
The duo was speaking on the sidelines of the book-launch of 'The 1983 World Cup Opus', in association with Paymentz.
Vengsarkar backs Virat Kohli to come good in England Test
Vengsarkar, who selected Virat Kohli for the first time in the national team, backed the former skipper, who has been enduring a prolonged lean patch, to come good against England.
"I am sure because he (Kohli) is a world class player. He's done well and is so fit. He is just not scoring in T20s but I think he'll come back strong, especially in the Test in England. He and Rohit Sharma, I expect big runs in England," said Vengsarkar.
Vengsarkar also hailed Hardik Pandya for his strong comeback.
"The way he (Hardik) came back from injury is great. He must have worked very hard on his fitness. He did very well in the IPL and as a captain he did well. (He is a) very fine all-rounder."
"He led from the front. He guided the team in his first major tournament as captain (of Gujarat Titans). An all-rounder plays an important role in any team," he said.
Hardik led the Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title and played a key role by amassing 487 runs and picking up eight wickets. He then carried on his form into the T20 series against South Africa.