Former India cricketer, Parthiv Patel points out the reasons for the inclusion of Navdeep Saini over T Natarajan in the ongoing third Test between India and Australia. A day before the match commenced, the BCCI announced the playing eleven for the Sydney Test.
The Indian team made two changes from their victory in Melbourne: Rohit Sharma replaced out of form Mayank Agarwal. Navdeep Saini was handed his debut replacing the injured Umesh Yadav ahead of T Natarajan.
The Tamil Nadu pacer has shot up the ranks quickly in the past few months. On the back of his superb performances in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad – Natarajan took 16 wickets and bowled the most number of yorkers in the season – he made it to India’s limited-overs team for the Australia tour. Replacing Varun Chakravarthy, he was so good in the T20Is that made Hardik Pandya hand over his Man of the Series award to Natarajan.
The left-arm pacer was also given his maiden call-up to the Test squad after Umesh Yadav was ruled out of the remaining tour.
Parthiv Patel opines that while Natarajan is in good form, it would be unfair to play him in Test cricket based on his white-ball performances. The former India opener feels that it would send the wrong message to other youngsters if Natarajan finds a place in the Test side on the back if his T20 cricket exploits.
“I think this year has been brilliant for T Natarajan but this success has been in white-ball cricket only. He is a tempting option to include in the eleven. But it will send the wrong message that you are playing someone Test cricket on the basis of his IPL form,” Parthiv Patel told Cricbuzz.
Saini has travelled with the team for more than a year: Parthiv Patel
Before the team was announced, the 35-year-old former keeper had predicted that Saini will get the nod over the SRH pacer. Patel asserted that the RCB seamer has travelled with the Indian team for a year and a half as the fourth or fifth bowler and hence deserves to be given his maiden Test cap.
“I will play Navdeep Saini because he has traveled with the Indian Test side for the last 1.5 years. He has maintained his place as the fourth or fifth seamer in the side.
“And like Siraj made his place in the team by performing for India A, Navdeep Saini has done the same and he has bowled well everywhere. So, considering the First-Class record and current form, I think Navdeep Saini will come into the team,” Parthiv Patel had said earlier.