India vs West Indies, 1st T20I: Navdeep Saini claims three wickets on debut

Delhi fast bowler Navdeep Saini has been part of the Team India net bowling unit in the Cricket World Cup 2019.

Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini is set to make his T20I debut against West Indies in Florida on Saturday.   -  FILE PHOTO/ K. MURALI KUMAR

 

Delhi fast bowler Navdeep Saini picked up three wickets on his T20I debut against West Indies in Florida on Saturday. It took him four balls to get his maiden international wicket. The pace express stole a top-edge off Nicholas Pooran (20 off 16) who was caught by Rishabh Pant in the fifth over.

The youngster was on a hat-trick after cleaning up Shimron Hetmyer in the next ball.

Later, Saini trapped big fish Kieron Pollard (49 off 49) in front of his stumps in the final over that ended in a maiden. His figures read 4-1-17-3.

India vs West Indies, 1st T20 Scorecard

The 26-year-old was part of the Team India net bowling unit in the Cricket World Cup 2019. Prior to the assignment in England and Wales, he had turned heads in the IPL representing Royal Challengers Bangalore. Saini had clocked 150 kmph and also struck Shane Watson on his helmet with a brutal bouncer. The lanky speedster had finished with 11 wickets in 13 matches.

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Saini back story

Born in Karnal in Haryana, Saini used to play local tennis-ball tournaments for Rs 200 a day. He was spotted by former Delhi medium-pacer Sumit Narwal in the Karnal Premier League. The meeting with Narwal took him to Delhi where former India opener Gautam Gambhir arranged for a pair of boots for the bowler.

In 2017-18, Saini helped Delhi reach the Ranji Trophy final claiming 34 wickets in eight matches.

RCB picked Saini in the IPL 2018 auction for Rs 3 crore, but he did not get a game that season. He was impressive in RCB's opening IPL match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2019 where he struck Shane Watson on his helmet.

Ahead of the IPL debut, Saini had thanked skipper Virat Kohli for inspiring him to be fit and bowl fast. "Virat bhai  has taught me to put in maximum effort in all aspects of the game – be it training, gym sessions and everything else. He also believes that the match is not over until the last ball. Even if the team is in a bad position, you must give full effort," he said.