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  5. IND vs AUS 3rd Test: Pragyan Ojha explains why India went with Navdeep Saini instead of Shardul Thakur

IND vs AUS 3rd Test: Pragyan Ojha explains why India went with Navdeep Saini instead of Shardul Thakur

Australia have put up 166/2 on Day 1 of the rain-marred encounter.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: January 07, 2021 23:11 IST
Navdeep Saini
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Navdeep Saini

India speedster Navdeep Saini made his Test debut at the SCG in the third Test of the ongoing four-match series against Australia. The right-arm pacer had a memorable outing on Day 1 as he gave India a much-needed breakthrough. Saini broke a century stand between Marnus Labuschagne and Will Pucvoski by dismissing the latter on 62. 

Debutant Saini registered his first Test wicket by trapping Pucovski plumb in the 35th over. Saini ended the day with figures of 1/32, having bowled just seven overs on the day. In the rain-affected first day, Indian bowling unit could bowl only 55 overs.

After the first day's play, cricketer-turned-commentator Pragyan Ojha revealed why Saini was preferred over Shardul Thakur for the Sydney Test. According to Ojha, it was Saini's pace which made the difference. 

“He (Saini) was brilliant, he bowled brilliantly. We have to understand that the wicket here is different (as compared to the one in Melbourne and Adelaide). But the line and length he was bowling, he was easily touching 140 (kmph), and that’s always a lovely sight,” Ojha told Sports Today.

“That’s why Saini was chosen ahead of Shardul Thakur. They (Team India) wanted someone on this kind of a track that will be a little flat. They wanted someone who could bowl quick, and he was quick.

“And mind you, it is only his first game. That anxiety will be there, but now after bowling those overs he will be much more settled and he will be planning what to do and how to go about it. But the way he bowled I was quite impressed,” Ojha added further.

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan also said that everyone will see the 'real Saini' on the second day of the Test. 

“I am very happy that Saini has already picked up his first wicket in however much he bowled today. Now he will go back and sleep at ease, do all his recovery, and when he comes tomorrow you will see the real Saini. So, I feel he should be judged based on how he does tomorrow,” said Zaheer on Sony Sports Network.

At stumps, Australia were in a commanding position, with Labuschagne and Steve Smith in the middle. The hosts have put up 166/2 on Day 1 of the rain-marred encounter.

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