Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. (Credits: BCCI)

Last Update on: August 5th, 2019 at 11:34 am

Recently updated on August 5th, 2019 at 11:34 am

Gautam Gambhir was a delighted man after seeing his former state teammate Navdeep Saini shining on his international debut. The highly-rated pacer from Delhi made his debut in the first T20I against West Indies and impressed straightaway.  In his four overs, he conceded just 17 runs while picking up three wickets to walk away with the Man of the Match award.

His spell helped India restrict the reigning world champions to 95 for 9 in the stipulated 20 overs. The batsmen then nearly made a heavy meal of the modest total before the team crossed the finishing line in the 18th over with four wickets in hand.

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But all the focus during and after the game has been on Saini. Saini’s journey from playing tennis ball cricket in the Karnal Premier League to shining brightly for India has been a fascinating one. In 2013, a 20-year-old Saini turned up at the Roshanara ground in Delhi. At that time, the Delhi Ranji team was in need of net bowlers and Saini got an opportunity to bowl at Gautam Gambhir. Saini did not take long to impress Gambhir and it started his journey in red-ball cricket.

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Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini (Credits: Twitter)

Saini soon became a regular at the nets and with Gambhir’s backing, also made his way into the Delhi side for the 2013-14 Ranji season. But the journey was not at all easy as there was resistance from the officials, who considered him an outsider from Haryana. But Gambhir supported Saini to the hilt and the result is there for everyone to see.

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And soon after Saini’s impressive debut, Gautam Gambhir took to Twitter to tear apart former India internationals Bishan Singh Bedi and Chetan Chauhan. Both the former players were official in DDCA and had opposed the selection of Saini in Delhi’s Ranji team.

“Kudos Navdeep Saini on ur India debut. U already have 2 wkts even before u have bowled—
@BishanBedi &  @ChetanChauhanCr. Their middle stumps are gone seeing debut of a player whose cricketing obituary they wrote even before he stepped on the field, shame!!!  @BCCI,” wrote Gambhir.

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