Navdeep Saini made his debut in the first T20I in Florida and the young man showed his promise and pedigree. He was smacked for a six by Nicholas Pooran over long on. This did not deter him as he came back, banged the ball in short and asked Pooran to pull. The left-hander went for the pull, miscued it and Rishabh Pant took the catch.
He then followed it with another short ball to Shimron Hetmyer who could only play it back to the stumps. Two wickets in his very first over and Saini had announced his arrival at the big stage. He finished with 3 wickets in his allotted quota of four overs and gave away just 17 runs. There was little surprise when he walked away with the man of the match trophy. Captain Virat Kohli too was ecstatic for the young man and said that the bowler had a bright future ahead of him.
"Yeah, Navdeep is from Delhi and he has come a long way. He plays the IPL as well and had a great season," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
'He has raw pace'
Kohli also said that the young man is fit and is hungry to keep at it. The skipper hoped the young man is able to build a name for himself.
"He is a raw talent, has raw pace. He is one of them who can bowl 150 clicks and there are hardly any who bowl at that pace and he is fit. He is someone who can build a name for himself and he is hungry as well. Hopefully, he builds on from here," he added.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is one of the senior members of the side, was also impressed by Navdeep Saini and said that the young bowler has the ability to consistently touch 90mph and that he is an exciting prospect.
"He bowls really quick. Like I said the wicket wasn't a proper wicket, it was a bit slow. But if you look at his bowling, he is a quick bowler, he bowls at around 145-150," Bhuvneshwar said.
Bhuvneshwar also said that the young man has played at different levels and has risen through the ranks which will help him when pressure is increased in the upcoming matches. Also, he pointed out that the fast-bowler has done well for India 'A' in the series which preceded this tour.
"The most important thing is he has proved himself at different stages - whether it is domestic cricket, IPL or India A. So, when he came into the team, I was pretty confident. Just before he came into the team, they played India A in West Indies and he did well there. When you do well at that international level, it gives you confidence," he added.