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Pragyan Ojha explains why Navdeep Saini was chosen over Shardul Thakur for the 3rd Test

Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur
Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur
Anurag Bansal
Modified 07 Jan 2021

In a conversation with Sports Today, former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha stated that Navdeep Saini was picked ahead of Shardul Thakur so that he could bowl quick on the flat track that the SCG offers.

Mighty impressed by Navdeep Saini's performance, the cricketer-turned-commentator said:

“He was brilliant, he bowled brilliantly. We have to understand that the wicket here is different. But the line and length he was bowling, he was easily touching 140, and that’s always a lovely sight."
"That’s why Navdeep Saini was chosen ahead of Shardul Thakur. They wanted someone on this kind of a track that will be a little flat. They wanted someone who could bowl quick, and he was quick," added Ojha.

Navdeep Saini became the 299th player to represent India in Tests

Right-arm pacer Navdeep Saini made his Test debut against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the 3rd Test on Thursday. Saini became the 299th player to represent India in the longest format of the game.

He bowled a total of 7 overs on the opening day of the third Test. His first over included a couple of boundaries from another debutant Will Pucovski. However, the pace sensation came back strongly and trapped the Australian opener in his third over.

"Mind you, it is only his first game. That anxiety will be there, but now after bowling those overs, he will be much more settle. He will be planning what to do and how to go about it. But the way he bowled, I was quite impressed," Ojha said about Saini.

The Indian bowlers struggled to pick wickets on Day 1 of the Sydney Test. Australia’s scoreboard read 166 for 2 at stumps. Speaking about the same, Ojha opined that the visitors did a good job with the ball but were unfortunate to not pick up more wickets.

“All our bowlers have bowled well. We have to understand that the wicket is good. When you talk about Test cricket, it is about the sessions. One or two sessions were taken away by the Aussies, who knows? In the next couple of sessions it could be Bumrah and the other bowlers who may do brilliantly,” Ojha concluded.
Published 07 Jan 2021, 20:56 IST
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