Navdeep Saini became India's 299th Test player on Thursday. He was presented his debut cap by senior pace bowling partner Jasprit Bumrah. To commemorate the moment, Bumrah gave a brief but classy speech while other members of the squad embraced Saini for his achievement.
Bumrah's speech and the ensuing celebrations by the team can be seen in the video uploaded by the BCCI.
"After a lot of hard work, he has come up the hard way. He is now going to play Test cricket for India, well deserved, go for it," said Bumrah.
Navdeep Saini has replaced an injured Umesh Yadav in the squad. The 28-year-old pacer trumped Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan for the role. And he is expected to fret the Australian batsmen with nagging lines and lengths at a consistently good pace.
Navdeep Saini's first-class record
Navdeep Saini has traveled with India's Test squad for the last couple of years. He has risen from the ranks of first-class cricket, India 'A' matches and the IPL.
Hailing from Karnal, Saini is the leader of Delhi's pace attack in the Ranji Trophy. In the 2017-18 domestic season, the team rode high on his 34 wickets to reach the Ranji Trophy final. During that season, he relied more on his swing and accuracy to challenge the batsmen.
However, he honed his skills meticulously and added a few yards to his pace. Overall, the lanky pacer has 128 first-class wickets to his name from 46 matches at a healthy average of 28.46. He has four five-wicket hauls and as many four-wicket hauls.
Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj opened the bowling on Day 1 of the Sydney Test. Siraj picked up the prized wicket of David Warner and the pair troubled debutant Will Pucovski with short balls before rain played spoilsport.
Saini is expected to bowl as the first change and his discipline will be instrumental for India at an apparently flat Sydney track.Published 07 Jan 2021, 08:17 IST