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India vs West Indies | Saini Was Full of Confidence Coming Into the Team: Bhuvneshwar

Young Navdeep Saini made a sensational debut in international cricket, claiming 3/17 in the first T20 against West Indies at Lauderhill, Florida on Saturday (August 3) to walk away with the man-of-the-match reward. Senior paceman Bhuvneshwar was impressed by Saini’s pace and accuracy in his first T20I outing.

Cricketnext Staff |August 4, 2019, 9:24 AM IST
India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar (right) celebrates a dismissal in the first T20 against West Indies. (Pic: AP)

Young Navdeep Saini made a sensational debut in international cricket, claiming 3/17 in the first T20 against West Indies at Lauderhill, Florida on Saturday (August 3) to walk away with the man-of-the-match reward. Senior paceman Bhuvneshwar was impressed by Saini’s pace and accuracy in his first T20I outing.

The Delhi paceman picked up the wickets of Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmeyer in his first over and came back to bowl a wicket maiden in the final over of the innings, grabbing the wicket of West Indies top-scorer Kieron Pollard in the process.

"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 told the media after India posted a four-wicket win in the first T20.

Bhuvneshwar was also impressive with the new ball, claiming 2/19 in four overs including the wickets of Evin Lewis and Keemo Paul. He was impressed how Saini has progressed through domestic cricket and the IPL.

"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," the Uttar Pradesh seamer said.

The first T20 turned out to be a pretty low-scoring affair as both India and West Indies batsmen struggled on the Lauderhill track. While West Indies posted just 95, India made heavy weather of chasing down the target after losing six wickets for 98 runs.

"It was a bit sticky, it was under covers for a couple of days. The ball wasn't really coming onto the bat. I mean, it wasn't easy for the batsmen. It got a bit better in the second innings for batting. In the morning, it was a bit more sticky. The sun was out in the second innings and the wicket got better,” Bhuvneshwar said about the pitch.

The 29-year-old fast bowler said that the Indian think-tank look to help the fringe players coming into the setup feel secure by providing them enough chances.

"See the first message the captain or the management gives is that you would get plenty of matches. You will get enough chances to perform in the middle. It won't be like one or two matches and you're out of the team. So, that gives them the security. And that is the most important thing when you're a youngster and come into the team, you want security and that is what they are getting.

"Being a senior player you always want to perform. When a youngster plays with you like Navdeep Saini did well. Khaleel is there. So, you want to talk to them, always make them feel comfortable, that is the first thing I look to do," he added.

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