Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

India skipper Hardik Pandya has backed young pace sensation Umran Malik to make his mark on the international stage despite his nervous and forgettable debut in the ongoing T20I series against Ireland.

Malik, who impressed all and sundry in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and bowled three of the five fastest deliveries of the competition, marked his arrival in Malahide with a 92 mph (148 kph) thunderbolt but his only over was expensive which costs 14 runs.

“When you play for India for the first time, and the journey he has taken, it’s pretty much important to give such a bowler and such a talent some time,” said Pandya.

“Whether it was a good day or a bad day is irrelevant. For him, just to play for India is itself a very big achievement and that is something which I’m very happy for, irrespective of how the result went. It’s okay. I want to let him enjoy this moment because it doesn’t come every time. A debut happens only once,” he said.

India will lock horns with Ireland in the second T20 of the two-match series in Malahide today.