Debutant Navdeep Saini guided India to a four-wicket win over West Indies by taking three wickets in an economic spell on Saturday. He was named player-of-the-match for his impressive figures of three for 17 in four overs. He also bowled a maiden in the process and helped India restrict West Indies to just 95 for 9 in its alloted 20 overs.
India seemed to struggle to an extent in a modest run chase before pulling off the win with 16 balls and four wickets remaining.
Saini, who enjoyed a dream debut, spoke about how happy he was on receiving his India cap during a fun interview conducted by his senior pace colleague Bhuvneshwar Kumar, which was posted on BCCI's Twitter handle on Sunday.
“When I received the India cap, I could not believe that today is the day which I was waiting for. I am very happy to make the debut for India,” the 26-year-old said.
The Delhi pacer took the wickets of Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer in two consecutive balls in the fifth over of the Windies innings and was on a hat-trick with Rovman Powell on strike. However, he didn't claim three in three.
“My confidence was low initially as I was under pressure of making my debut. The first wicket released the pressure. Then, when I got the second wicket my confidence increased and I felt like I was playing a normal match," said Saini, speaking about a possibility of picking up a hat-trick in his first international game.
“When I was to bowl the hat-trick ball, I felt like ‘it is something which I have been seeing others do, it is happening to me’ Then, I was focussing on how to take the wicket,” he added.
Saini's final wicket, that of Kieron Pollard, was initially given not out by the umpire and the decision was later reversed following a review by India skipper Virat Kohli. Pollard was the top-scorer of the match with 49.
“I thought it (Pollard LBW) was not out and on appeal the umpire also said not out. But Virat paaji took the review. He said "there is a review left for us and why waste it, you never know it may be out also." I was not sure whether I will get that wicket. But I was so happy when Pollard was adjudged out after the review,” said Saini.
The Indian debutant also revealed the significance of the wolf tattoo on his left hand. “During my childhood, my elder brother and I used to watch a lot of movies about wolves. So I like wolves. Moreover, wolves do not perform in circus and thinking that I made these tatoos,” he said.