New Zealand vs India 2020: Navdeep Saini rues his dismissal at crucial juncture
Hosts New Zealand registered a 22-run victory in the 2nd ODI against India at Eden Park in Auckland to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series but not before India speedster Navdeep Saini produced a sensational knock with the bat.
He, along with Ravindra Jadeja, shared a 76-run stand for the eighth wicket which got India close to the victory target of 274. However, his dismissal at a crucial juncture of the game dashed India’s hopes as they eventually went down.
The fast bowler was seen ruing his extravagant shot during the post-match presentation and said that the eventual result of the match could have been different had he stayed there.
He smashed a six of Kyle Jamieson but was castled in the next delivery as he went for another maximum. Indian skipper Virat Kohli was animated following Saini’s heroics but also asked him to stay calm.
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Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Saini said,
"I will regret when I go back and see the video. If I hadn't got out, maybe the result could have been different. Will regret that I took it so close and maybe could have gotten closer.
"We felt the wicket was flat and if we could stay till the end, the match could go close. So we were trying to contribute as much as possible and take the match to the end. Jadeja had told me that if you get a boundary ball hit it. Otherwise take singles or doubles, try to keep patience and we can take the game to the end."
Coming into the match, Saini spent a considerable amount of time in the nets with the bat which resulted in a sensational knock of 45 off 49 deliveries. He said that it is important for the lower order to contribute as much as possible with the bat.
"It is a good thing that the lower order is performing like this. If everyone performs, it is called a team effort. If batsmen cannot score, bowlers should. If bowlers are not taking wickets, fielders should help. It is a team, after all.
"I was thinking that I got to bat after a long time. As soon as I hit the boundary, I was in shock. Wow, the ball is coming really well off my bat, I thought. Among the support staff, Raghu (throw down specialist) helps me with batting and is always encouraging me to do well. Even in hotel, he keeps telling me that I bat well and should do better. He keeps motivating me and always talks about my batting," he said.
Settling down in international cricket hasn’t been particularly easy for Saini. He stated that international cricket is a different ball game altogether when compared to domestic cricket. Saini has been pretty impressive in the limited opportunities he has got so far. He has been a potent death bowling option too. With more experience in overseas conditions, Saini can become one of the gun bowlers for India in the future.
"There is a lot to learn. I am learning as much as I am playing. Conditions are different than home. I am learning about my bowling, what lengths to bowl, how to plan, these things are important for me to learn and for my team. Difference is that margin of error is lower," he said.Published 08 Feb 2020, 19:58 IST