Umran Malik (Photo Source: BCCI)
Ace Indian pacer Umran Malik is in contention to replace Shivam Mavi in the Indian squad for the upcoming Asian Games, which is slated to begin on September 23 in China. As per reports, Mavi is currently injured and hence won’t be able to take part in the competition. On the other hand, the selectors were keen to send Yash Thakur in Mavi’s absence but the Vidarbha pacer too is dealing with an injury at the moment.
Hence, Umran is reported to travel with the squad. He has represented the national team in eight T20Is so far, picking up 11 wickets in the process. The 23-year-old pacer was in the scheme of things for the upcoming ODI World Cup as well but slipped in the race as Jaspirt Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna managed to recover on time.
As per Indian Express, the squad for the Asian Games will gather at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for a short camp and Umran is expected to be part of that. NCA chief VVS Laxman will be travelling with the squad for the Asian Games, along with Sariaj Bahutule as bowling coach and Munish Bali as fielding coach.
Meanwhile, even though the cricket part of the Asian Games will begin on September 27, the Indian men’s team will play their first game on October 3. By virtue of the ranking, the Ruturaj Gaikwad-led side has already qualified for the quarter-final, along with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. If they qualify for the semi-finals, it will take place on October 6, and the final on October 7, just a day prior to India’s first World Cup match against Australia in Chennai. Notably, all the matches of the competition will be taking place at Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou.
When it comes to the women’s side, they too have qualified for the quarter-finals by virtue of the ranking. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side will play their first game on September 21 against one of the qualifiers.