South Africa and Delhi Capitals pacer Anrich Nortje feels tearaway pacer Umran Malik will be one of the "key players" for India in the future, however, he added that quality of execution matters more than pace.
"I am sure Umran is going to be one of the key players for India in near future. Luck will also have to play its part. But most importantly, it's about the quality of what you deliver as we have seen fastest deliveries that are being awarded are going for boundaries," Nortje told news agency PTI.
"It doesn't matter at what pace it is bowled. Pace is not the be-all and end-all. It is about the quality of execution. And I believe he is improving on that aspect of having control with pace. Also at Sunrisers Hyderabad, under Dale (Steyn, fast bowling coach), Umran is in good hands. He has a lot of senior and experienced players around him, so he will certainly improve."
With 15 wickets in 11 matches, Malik, who can consistently bowl over 150 kph, has been the find of IPL 2022. The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer also bowled the second-fastest ball in IPL history this season — a 157 kph thunderbolt in a game against DC earlier this month. However, his expensive economy rate of 9.1 has been a cause of worry and this is where the quality of deliveries and execution will matter.
SRH fast bowling coach Dale Steyn, another South African, had earlier said that Malik needs to keep things simple to stay effective.
"How India uses him is up to them, but he is certainly capable of playing international cricket. One guy bowling 150kmph consistently; I think every international team will want him. How and where you use him is critical,” Steyn said.
"...tell you he is looking for pace all the time. This makes batters think differently in the way they approach him and where they score off him. That is the reason he has picked up wickets. The message to him is to keep things simple. [Just] stay straight, look to attack the stumps, use the bouncer, be smart when you want to change pace, and bowl to your field."