Debashis Sarangi ∙ Nov 26 2022, 12:30 PM

Zaheer Khan advises Umran Malik to back his strengths in the New Zealand ODIs

image-laxpoxfkUmran Malik in action [Source: Twitter]

On Friday, New Zealand handed India a crushing seven-wicket defeat in the first ODI of the three-match series. 

Batting first, India posted a healthy total of 306, which the hosts chased easily, courtesy of a mammoth 221-run stand between Tom Latham and Kane Williamson. 

However, Umran Malik's performance was one of the rare shining lights for India in the match. Malik, presented with his debut ODI cap, scalped the crucial wickets of Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell. Although he was slightly expensive towards the backend, the Jammu pacer consistently troubled the Kiwi batters with his searing pace. 

After the game concluded, legendary former India speedster lavished praise on Malik for his aggressive mindset and exemplary control in the major part of his spell. 

Zaheer, who starred with the ball in India's triumphant World Cup campaign in 2011, also advised the promising pacer to back his strength of bowling fast throughout the series. 

Here's what Zaheer stated

"He was great and he started very well. Towards the latter half, there is some learning for sure. But it’s still the first game for him and it was about going out there, enjoying the moment, giving it all and looking at the debut, he had a good one,

"The body language and wicket-taking intent was there. Fine-tuning is needed, but he will learn as he moves along. He should back his strength and look to bowl as quickly as possible. He showed decent control and should continue with that."

Meanwhile, the second match of the series will be played in Hamilton on Sunday. It is a must-win game for India, as losing it will hand them a series defeat. 

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