Navdeep Saini on Thursday made his Test debut for India during the third match of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. Saini received his Test cap from India teammate Jasprit Bumrah ahead of the toss at the Sydney Cricket Ground.Also Read - With Johannesburg, Pretoria Among Venues, Concerns About India's Tour of SA Amid New COVID Variant's Rise
“He’s done lot of hard work. Come out the hard way and here to play Test cricket for India. Well deserved and go well,” Bumrah said as he handed over the cap to Saini surrounded with India teammates and support staff. Also Read - Pat Cummins' Appointment as Skipper, Steve Smith as His Deputy The Right Thing to do: Ricky Ponting
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Saini has made the cut in the playing XI as a replacement for the injured Umesh Yadav who was ruled out of the entire tour following the second Test in Melbourne which India went on to win to draw level at one-all in the four-match series.
Saini has already played some international cricket for India having made his debut in August 2019. So far, he has played seven ODIs and 10 T20Is and taken a combined 19 wickets.
“I am really happy for him (Saini). He’s worked really hard. He’s been doing really well in the domestic circuit. Last game Siraj for us, this game Saini, really happy,” India captain Ajinkya Rahane said during the toss.
Saini, who represents Delhi in domestic cricket, comes with an experience of 46 first-class matches and taken 128 wickets at 28.46. In 54 List A matches, he has 81 wickets while in 58 T20s, he has 49 scalps.
Meanwhile, Australia also have a debutant in their playing XI – Will Pucovski makes a long awaited Test bow after missing out the opening two matches as he was diagnosed with concussion following a blow to his helmet during a practice match against India A.
Pucovksi slammed consecutive double-centuries during the Australian domestic first-class competition, Sheffield Shield, following which he was picked for the high-profile India Test series.
Australia won the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets before India bounced back in Melbourne.