Umran Malik in action for the Indian cricket team© BCCI

Veteran Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal said on Sunday that the Indian cricket team need to accommodate fast bowler Umran Malik in their playing XI in order to help his development. Malik started his career with a couple of impressive performances but has been unable to find a fixed spot in the team. In the ongoing series against New Zealand, India have decided to play Shardul Thakur along with Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami. However, Akmal believes that the current Indian bowling attack may struggle on batting-friendly pitches and that is where Malik can turn out to be an asset.

“This Indian bowling unit might struggle in conditions that are good for batting, especially against top teams. It is very important for India to accommodate Umran Malik in the playing XI,” Akmal said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.

“He is getting better and better and can surely prove to be a matchwinner. The bowling lineup will look very strong when Jasprit Bumrah returns,” he added.

The Pakistan cricketer also backed India to complete the whitewash against New Zealand in the ODI series.

“India should look to whitewash New Zealand. The team is very high on confidence and the players look in a good rhythm. The good thing about this Indian side is that they have won matches while both chasing and defending. We have seen in the past that they prefer to chase. However, they want to tick all the boxes ahead of the World Cup,” said Akmal.

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