The Indian cricket team management has decided to keep Navdeep Saini as a net bowler for the two-test series against the West Indies. Impressed by the speedster skill-set, the management has aimed to groom him for future test assignment.
Earlier, during the ICC World Cup in England, he was selected as Indian team's net bowler and a cover for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Saini plays domestic cricket for Delhi and earlier this month he made his T20I debut against Windies. He took three wickets in four overs which included Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer in two consecutive deliveries. In the last over of the inning, he bowled a wicket-maiden and with this, he became the Man of the Match.
On Monday, 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.”
During the West Indies, A first inning Saini in fact bowled six overs in the ongoing practice match to give rest to Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav.
Grooming Saini will help India in the long term
“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,” the official further added.
According to experts, it is believed that if Saini stays back, then it will help bowling coach Bharat Arun to invest more time in the 26-years old fast bowler, who has taken 120 wickets in 43 first-class games with brilliant three five-wicket haul.
“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,” the official said.