IPL 2020: Navdeep Saini Is Doubtful Against Mumbai Indians
RCB, IPL 2019
Image Credit: IPL

IPL 2020: Navdeep Saini Is Doubtful Against Mumbai Indians

Navdeep Saini, the pacer of Royal Challengers Bangalore is doubtful for their next match against defending champions and table-toppers Mumbai Indians after splitting the webbing of his right hand during the defeat against Chennai Super Kings while trying to stop the ball in the 18th over of CSK’s chase.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are enjoying the best start to their IPL campaign since 2011, but the news that pacer Navdeep Saini may not play in the next match comes as a big blow to the franchise as the race for playoffs is getting hotter daily. Royal Challengers Bangalore occupy the second spot with 14 points from 11 matches after 3rd placed Delhi Capitals lost to SunRisers Hyderabad in the franchise’s third consecutive loss.

Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini. Image Credit: IPL.

Navdeep Saini Split Webbing And Is Doubtful

Royal Challengers Bangalore are dealt with a big blow ahead of their key match against table-toppers Mumbai Indians as their ace pacer Navdeep Saini split the webbing of his right hand during the defeat against the Chennai Super Kings. He is now doubtful against Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Navdeep Saini tried to stop the ball during bowling in the 18th over of CSK’s chase and split his webbing. He bowled only three overs against CSK.

After the match against CSK, Evan Speechly, RCB’s head physiotherapist, told RCB TV: “Saini has split his webbing. He obviously got hit on the thumb on the right hand. Fortunately, we had a good hand surgeon, he stitched it up nicely. So, we could just monitor over the night and check it after getting ready for the next game,” he said.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: IPL)

During IPL 2016, present RCB and Indian captain Virat Kohli had suffered a similar injury against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Virat Kohli had received eight stitches in his right hand before coming out to bat. He went all guns blazing and scored a match-winning 75 not out and followed it up with a 50-ball 113 against Kings XI Punjab. Virat Kohli had amassed a staggering 973 runs with 4 centuries in IPL 2016 and led from the front.

Talking about Virat’s injury, Speechly said: “Virat, four-five years ago, he had it in Kolkata, we managed to stop the bleeding and he smashed a 100 after we got a plastic surgeon who had stitched it.”

Speechly wasn’t sure if Saini would be fit to return. “Unfortunately, you cannot compare the two injuries. Some people can manage it and some can’t. It’s also because Saini’s injury is on his bowling hand, so it puts a lot of pressure on him so I cannot be sure when he will be good to go. I am hoping that he will be good to play in the next game and the rest of the tournament,” he said.

The Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini who was named in Indian squad recently for an Australian tour in all three formats has been instrumental in RCB’s success so far in IPL 2020, taking five wickets in 11 games at an economy rate of 7.95. Navdeep Saini has taken 16 wickets from 24 matches.

Navdeep Saini’s Unavailability Could Mean Recall Of Umesh Yadav

RCB may have to recall India’s Test pacer, Umesh Yadav if Navdeep Saini fails to recover in time. Umesh Yadav went for plenty-83 runs in his seven overs in the first two games, before being dropped. They would hope that pacers South African Chris Morris, Mohammad Siraj, Sri Lankan Isuru Udana and the spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar continue their fine show in the upcoming matches.

RCB’s bowling has been the talk of the town so far unlike previous editions of IPL when death bowling was a concern for them. Chris Morris who recovered from injury is in ominous form taking 10 scalps in 6 matches averaging a meagre 13.6 while Mohammed Siraj has six wickets in five matches averaging 23.16 including 3/8 against KKR. Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has 16 wickets from 11 matches averaging 18.5 only.

Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav (Image Credit: IPL)

Both RCB and MI have the same number of wins and losses and thereby has the same number of points. They would be desperate to beat each other and secure a playoff berth. Mumbai Indians are still sitting on top of the table despite their loss against Rajasthan Royals while RCB holds their third spot after CSK thrashed them.

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma trained in the nets on Tuesday night which raised quite a few eyebrows since the national selectors had only hours earlier ruled him out of the Australia tour due to a hamstring injury. However, still, he is set to miss his third game in a row.