Lanky seamer Navdeep Saini has been billed as one of the finest pace bowling prospects of India. He impressed one and all in his first IPL season finishing the season as second highest wicket-taker for his franchise with 11 wickets in 13 games.
More than his wickets, it was Saini’s pace which caught everyone’s eyes – regularly clocking 150kmph with a fastest of those being 152.85 kmph on the speed gun just behind South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada’s 154.23 kmph.
The young pacer from Karnal, who plays for Delhi in domestic cricket and turned heads at Royal Challengers Bangalore during Indian Premier League, will be flying to the United Kingdom for the ICC World Cup as one of India’s four net bowlers for the showpiece.
Mastering yorkers and death bowling is what Navdeep Saini wants to learn while bowling in at nets alongside one of the world’s best bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and his lieutenants.
Bumrah’s unplayable yorkers aside, Saini also wants to learn from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami.
“This is a huge opportunity for me. Travelling with the Indian team and helping them prepare for such a big tournament is a really big deal for me,” Saini told CricketNext ahead of his departure with the Indian team for the United Kingdom.
“We have been instructed to travel to UK on May 23rd. There is no extra pressure on being the standby bowler. The good thing is that right now I am travelling as a net bowler, I am not thinking that someone is going to get injured and I am going to be called up. I have to concentrate on what I have got to do at the moment,” he added.
“IPL is a very big event, at par with international cricket. Bowling to some of the top batsmen in the world and giving great performances was very important for me,” the 26-year-old from Karnal, Haryana, said.