Navdeep Saini has been named as Mohammed Shami’s replacement ahead of the one-off test against Afghanistan which starts on June 14 and Gautam Gambhir has taken a stinging dig on former India players Bishan Singh Bedi and Chetan Chauhan.
Gambhir posted his sarcastic message on the micro-blogging site after Delhi pacer earned his maiden India call up for the Afghanistan Test.
My ‘condolences’ to few DDCA members, @BishanBedi @ChetanChauhanCr on selection of ‘outsider’ Navdeep Saini to India squad. Am told black armbands are available in Bangalore too for INR 225 per roll!!! Sir, just remember Navdeep is an Indian first then comes his domicile @BCCI
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) June 12, 2018
Bishan Singh Bedi and Chetan Chauhan, members of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) had raised questions on Saini’s selection in Delhi’s Ranji Trophy team where they termed him an ‘outsider’ as he hailed from Haryana.
About five years ago, Bedi had written a letter to Arun Jaitley, who was then the DDCA president where he questioned Saini’s inclusion in Delhi’s squad match against Vidarbha.
“In today’s meeting to finalise the Ranji team, an outsider, Navdeep, a fast bowler from Karnal has been selected. This boy has played no cricket in Delhi for the past year, and it is inappropriate to bring in an outsider when there are some very good boys waiting to represent Delhi,” Bedi had written.
On Monday, Saini told in an interview, “Gautam bhaiya said ‘Jaise tennis ball se dalta hai, waise hi dal. Koi tension nahi. Baaki sab theek ho jayega. I did took his advice and today I am here because of him. I don’t know whenever I speak about Gautam Gambhir, I get very emotional.”
Saini had managed to impress the key Delhi players and sneaked into the Delhi Ranji team despite initial resistance from the officials, who considered him an outsider from Haryana.
Saini was asked to bowl at the India nets during Sri Lanka series in December 2017 as the net bowler but Gambhir asked him to concentrate on Ranji Trophy final.
His sublime performance came against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy semifinal where he was clocking mid 140s and the opposition batsmen couldn’t read his spells.