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The 26-year-old right-arm fast bowler Navdeep Saini is staying with the national side in the ongoing Caribbean tour as he will serve primarily as a net bowler during this period.
Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini has recently made his international debut and shined in the very first game. During the T20I series of the ongoing USA and West Indies tour, Saini made debut in the first game of this series. In that game, Saini won the Player of the Match award for his impressive bowling efforts as his bowling figures were 4-1-17-3. He delivered a maiden over in the final over of that innings. His bowling majorly helped India to restrict the Windies side on just 95/9 (20 overs).
After having a wicket-less experience in the second T20I, Saini took two wickets in the third and final T20I of this series. He has played three T20Is and managed to take five wickets.
Though Saini was also in the recently concluded ODI squad, the team management didn’t select him in the playing XI.
Initially, Saini was not in the 16-member Test squad. Due to his recently impressive bowling performances, Saini has earned the latest call-up as he will now serve as a net bowler during the upcoming two-match Test series.
A senior BCCI official told PTI, “Yes, Navdeep Saini has been asked to stay back by the team management for the Test series. He will stay back primarily as a net bowler, they want to groom him for the Test format keeping an eye on the future.”
Earlier, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, Navdeep Saini spent as a net bowler.
If Navdeep Saini is groomed well, it will only increase our pool of fast bowlers for the top tier cricket
Saini has played 43 first-class matches where he has taken 120 wickets, including three five-wicket hauls. He was the leading wicket-taker for Delhi in the 2017/18 Ranji Trophy. His last first-class game was in last February during the home unofficial Test series between India A and England Lions. While India A won that two-match series by 1-0, Saini finished as the leading wicket-taker (nine wickets).
Saini has impressed with his consistent performances in red-ball cricket. Now, the Indian team management wants to groom him to make him ready for future Test cricket.
The official added, “Saini has been a performer in red-ball cricket for the past few years. He has the pace, and ability to hit the deck, move the ball both in air and off the pitch.
“If he is groomed well, it will only increase our pool of fast bowlers for the top tier cricket. That’s how the team management is looking at him.”
Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun will now work with him during the forthcoming Test series.
The official said, “One can’t ignore the effort that Arun has put in to make India’s fast bowling unit the best that has emerged from the country. Rather than playing domestic cricket, he now needs to be in and around the international scene and learn the tricks of the trade for the next level.”
India will play the two-match Test series against the host Windies from 22nd August to 3rd September. It will be the first Test series for both sides in the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship.