Navdeep Saini Surprised By Test Team Call-Up For West Indies Series: Was Not Expecting That

Navdeep Saini, the Indian pacer who was originally slated to play County cricket, has been unexpectedly called up to the Indian Test squad for the upcoming West Indies series. India's first assignment in the next World Test Championship cycle will be the West Indies, with Lord's hosting the championship match in 2025. Saini, who has signed with Worcestershire is expected to miss the England team's three matches due to their schedule clashing with the West Indies Test series.

What did Saini Say?

Worcestershire have previously confirmed the signing of Indian bowler Navdeep Saini in June as their second foreign player for the upcoming four matches until the end of July. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India revealed their squad a little later which included Navdeep Saini. When asked about his surprise at being called up, Saini said he came to know about it only after arriving in the UK.

He expressed astonishment and mentioned that he had trained with the Dukes ball during the IPL in preparation for potential duty as an outfielder or bowler in the World Cup finals. Before leaving for the West Indies, Saini indicated that he wished to attend at least one game as he believed it was an important opportunity to get into the game and develop match fitness.

Navdeep Saini Career Highlights

A right-arm medium fast bowler from Karnal named Navdeep Saini helped improve Delhi's performance during the 2017–18 domestic season. Saini's performances helped Delhi to the final of the Ranji Trophy where they were eventually beaten by Vidarbha by a whopping total of 34 wickets.

Saini bowls with a deceptive technique that bets more on swing and accuracy than speed. His outstanding achievements during the domestic season attracted a lot of attention and sparked a bidding war between several franchises. Ahead of the 2019 IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) eventually acquired his services for a hefty price of INR 3 crores.

He made his ODI and T20I debut for India in 2019, which marked the beginning of his international cricket career. Covering the injured Indian fast bowlers during the series in Australia, Saini later earned his Test debut. He made important outings in Sydney and the famous Perth Test. However, his consistency with the ball has been hampered by injuries. Saini signed a short-term contract with Kent in July 2022 to play county cricket.

While discussing his return to the Test team, Navdeep Saini expressed his expectation to secure a place in the playing eleven against the West Indies. Acknowledging his familiarity with Caribbean pitches, he noted that they tend to be low and slow, similar to the conditions he is used to.

This is his second tour to the West Indies. He didn't get a chance to play on his previous visit, but hopes to get a chance this time. Saini concluded by saying that he is well-acquainted with the conditions where the pitches tend to exhibit a low and slow nature similar to those found at home.

Who is Navdeep Saini?
Indian cricketer Navdeep Amarjeet Saini was born in Karnal, Haryana. He started competing for Delhi in 2013. He made his international cricket debut for India in August 2019.
Which team did Navdeep Saini play in the IPL 2023?
Saini was acquired by Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2022 auction after three seasons with Royal Challengers Bangalore and was later brought back ahead of the 2023 tournament.
How fast does Navdeep Saini bowl?
The gifted pacer, Navdeep Saini achieved this feat during IPL 2019 after clocking a speed of 152.85 kmph in the game. Saini bowled the four fastest balls on the list in IPL 2019 at 152.83 km/h, 152.48 km/h, 152.47 km/h and 151.98 km/h.