Navdeep Saini is an unusual breed of fast bowler who can bowl at 150 clicks for an extended period of time. Navdeep Saini is being touted as the next big thing for the Indian side, with lethal toe-crushing Yorkers and an elaborate slow ball at his disposal.
Navdeep Saini, a Karnal native, was hand-picked by Gautam Gambhir from the Delhi practise nets, and his rise to the top has been nothing short of a fairy-tale trip. With his raw pace and lethal precision, the lanky, wry-looking pace bowler has wowed everybody. Saini has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the brightest lights on the cricketing horizon.
In the 2017-18 season, he took 34 wickets for the Delhi Ranji side.
In the 2018-19–16 Vijay Hazare Trophy, he took the most wickets.
On his T20I debut, he was named Man of the Match.
Navdeep made his first-class debut on December 14, 2013, at Roshanara Club Ground during the 2013-14 Ranji season, when he was 21 years old. Since he was from Haryana and not a Delhi player, the DDCA Selection Committee was suspicious of his selection and also disapproved of it. Gautam Gambhir, on the other side, backed him up and forced the selectors to include him in the starting XI.
Sumit Narwal, a Delhi cricketer who had seen Saini bowl lethal Yorkers with tennis balls, told Gautam Gambhir about Saini’s prodigious ability. Narwal immediately called up Delhi captain Gambhir to try out Saini at the nets, as he was being paid Rs 200 per match.
Gambhir was enraged enough by what he saw at the nets to get into a heated debate with then-DDCA vice president Chetan Chauhan in order to get the Haryana player into the Delhi squad.
When Delhi humiliated Bengal by an innings and 26 runs to reach the Ranji Trophy final in 2017-18, the young speedster bowled one of the most damaging spells in recent Indian domestic cricket history.
Navdeep Saini was picked up by the Delhi Daredevil franchise in 2018 after being spotted by Gautam Gambhir in the domestic circuit. He didn’t get much opportunities with the franchise and left a year later to join Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore. Saini was the target of a competitive bidding battle, and he was finally sold for a whopping Rs. 3 crores.
During the season, Saini appeared in 13 games and took 11 wickets. However, his speed and precision wowed almost all, and demands for Saini to be drafted into the Indian team grew quickly.
Saini’s excellent T20 performances secured him an ODI cap in the home series against the West Indies. He hustled his first ODI victim, Hetmyer, for pace and bounce, then set up Roston Chase with a peach of a yorker and knocked over his stumps.
With an incredible Indian pace bowling bench strength already in place, Saini’s rise through the ranks has been nothing short of a miracle.
Saini’s outstanding exploits in IPL 2019 secured him a call-up to the Indian national team, despite playing for RCB under the watchful eye of Indian captain Virat Kohli.
In the T20 style, Saini was making his debut for India. Saini never looked out of place against a T20 powerhouse in the West Indies. On the next ball, he bounced out Nicholas Pooran and then dismissed Shimron Hetmyer. He added to his wicket count by dismissing the well-set Kieron Pollard for 49 runs. On his international debut, he was named Man of the Match for his 3-wicket haul.
Saini has developed into a formidable pace choice for the Indian team in the international arena a year after his breakout season in the IPL. The ascension has been nothing short of amazing. Given that India has one of the best pace attacks in the world, Saini’s inclusion in the illustrious bowling line-up is a tribute to his abilities.
Navdeep Saini was drafted into the two-Test squad for the New Zealand tour after putting in strong performances in the ODI and T20 teams. Navdeep was not given the opportunity to wear the white flannels in the film, but he had actually shattered the glass ceiling.
Navdeep Saini was born in Karnal, Haryana, on November 23, 1992. Saini, the son of a retired Haryana government driver, comes from a modest family and has his feet firmly fixed on the ground. His father worked for the Haryana government as a driver. His ancestor, Karam Singh, was a member of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army and an independence leader.