Navdeep Saini made a dream debut in international colours in the ongoing T20I series against the West Indies. The fiery Indian pacer took two wickets in his very first over, and moreover, bowled a wicket-maiden in the final over of the innings. He has already made his name in the IPL, and impressed the fans with his ability to sustain high bowling speed at accurate lengths.
As the Indian speedster now looks to cement his place in the limited-overs format with consistent performances, India TV exclusively talked to Navdeep Saini’s father, Mr. Amarjeet Saini.
“We are very happy. Our child is playing for the Indian team! The whole village is celebrating,” were Mr. Saini’s words when he was asked to express his first thoughts on his son’s brilliant debut with the Indian team.
Saini had to wait for his debut in the Indian team. He was selected for the squad for the one-off Test match against Afghanistan last year, but didn’t make it to the playing XI. However, when the squad for the West Indies tour was announced, it were his parents who came to know about his selection before him!
“We came to know about his selection before him. He was in West Indies at the time, and it was night time there. We phone-called him to let him know that he was selected,” tells his father.
Reflecting on his journey to the Indian team, Mr. Saini said that he was interested in cricket ever since his childhood.
“He began playing cricket seriously when he was in class 5th. He used to play with kids here. Sumit Narwal spotted him while he was playing a local game here, and invited him to come to Delhi with him.
“Gambhir liked him and selected him in the Ranji team.”
“We did use to stop him from playing cricket. Like any middle-class man, I wanted Navdeep to study and get a good job. But Navdeep used to assure me that he will make a big name in cricket.”
Mr. Saini adds that meeting Gautam Gambhir was the turning point of Saini’s career.
“Meeting Gautam Gambhir was the major turning point in his career. After his meeting with him, he left his studies and concentrated solely on cricket.
“He used to work hard. He didn’t use to come to home, even. He would stay in camps in Delhi for months,” tells Mr. Saini.
His father believes that nothing seems impossible for Navdeep, now that he has made his debut for India. “I can even see my kid as the captain of Indian team!” said Mr. Saini ecstatically.