Navdeep Saini Sends A Strong Message To Indian Selectors With Five-For On County Debut

India pacer Navdeep Saini has made a splash on his County Championship Division 1 debut for Kent straightaway with a brilliant five-wicket haul against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

The right-arm Delhi pacer has been in and out of the Indian team for the past few years and his lack of control over his lines and lengths has seen him drop in the pecking order, even though he was part of the epic Test matches in Sydney and Brisbane last year.

It has been 12 months since Saini last played for India – ODI and T20I matches in Sri Lanka in July 2021 – and this performance now will have sent the selectors a strong message about his improvement in form and fitness.

On his CC Division 1 debut, Saini’s five-fer helped Kent bowl out Warwickshire for 225 runs after they had managed only 165 in their own first innings. This kept Warwickshire’s lead to 60 runs keeping Kent in the game.

His wickets included top-order batsman Chris Benjamin, middle-order batters Dan Mousley and wicket-keeper Michael Burgess and tailenders Henry Brookes and Craig Miles.

The telling fact in Saini’s five-wicket haul was that all of his wickets were batsmen nicking behind: while Benjamin’s thick outside edge flew to gully, the rest four nicked through to the wicket-keeper, which highlighted Saini’s immaculate control over the line and length keeping it in the danger zone outside the off-stump.

Here you can watch Saini’s five-for on County debut:

After taking his maiden County five-wicket innings landmark, Saini walked back to the pavilion proudly, holding the ball up to the crowd and media present while his Kent teammates gave him a standing ovation.

Here’s the picture of Navdeep Saini getting applause from his teammates for his achievement:

Before embarking on his County journey, Navdeep Saini was part of the Indian team as a net bowler last month and took part in the practice game against Leicestershire. Playing for Leicestershire, he snapped up three wickets in that warm-up match including those of KS Bharat and Shubman Gill.

Picked up for his express pace, Saini has so far played 19 ODI and T20Is for India in which he snared as many wickets along with 4 wickets in 2 Tests.

Along with Saini, there are others Indians who are playing in County Cricket this season and all have impressed with their performance. While Cheteshwar Pujara (Sussex) is the third-highest scorer in CC Div 2 currently, Washington Sundar (Lancashire) and Umesh Yadav (Middlesex) have been among wickets, and Krunal Pandya (Warwickshire) will feature in the Royal London Cup later on.

Also Read: BCCI Spends A Huge Amount For Team India’s Flight To West Indies

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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