Having impressed one and all with a series of remarkable bowling performances in Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini is all set for his new stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the cash-rich India Premier League (IPL).
Saina was on cloud nine when the Virat Kohli-led team roped him in for INR 3 crores during the recently held IPL auction. However, Navdeep is a tad disappointed given the fact that he won’t get to play under his idol Gautam Gambhir, who will lead Delhi Daredevils this season.
“Gauti bhaiya was very happy for me after RCB bought me in the auction. On the other hand, I was thinking if I were in the DD squad, Gauti bhaiya could have helped during the season,” Saini quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
“He told me just to keep up the good form and go for it. He told me I could learn a lot from Virat Kohli being the RCB captain. The feeling of being in the star-studded RCB team then sank in,” he added.
The 25-year-old Saini owes his Ranji career to Gambhir’s backing. He had played an instrumental role in Delhi’s innings and 26-run victory in the Ranji Trophy semifinals against Bengal. Consequently, the Indian cricket team management called up Saini to South Africa, to bowl in the nets ahead of the third Test in Johannesburg.
“I was in Johannesburg for nine days. Bowling in front of a coach like Ravi Shastri and cricketer like Virat was in itself morale boosting. I picked up things from senior members of the team too while bowling in the nets. I hope to do well this season and leave an impression and soon get into the Indian team. I will have to keep delivering the goods for Delhi, RCB, India A and North Zone and raise the standard of my game,” said Saini.
Navdeep Saini will join the RCB pace attack that has international stars such as Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Woakes in it. The South Africa net session has already elevated Saini’s profile as a fast bowler.
“Since I went to South Africa, my residential locality Taraori in Karnal is buzzing. My grandfather Karam Singh Saini has regular visitors inquiring about my cricket career, and when I am going to play for India. He says “very soon”. I hope this “very soon” happens soon,” Saini concluded.