Navdeep Saini made his Test debut for India on Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). While some believe T Natarajan should have got the nod ahead of the Delhi pacer, former Indian wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel explained that Saini had a lot of first class experience.
Saini has also been on India A tours and has a better experience of bowling in red ball cricket. In 46 first class games before his Test debut, Sani picked up 128 wickets and also has the extra pace to torment the Australian batsmen.
Thus Parthiv believes first class experience should be respected and thus Navdeep Saini got the nod ahead of Natarajan.
“I will play Navdeep Saini because he has travelled with the Indian Test side for the last 1.5 years. He has maintained his place as the fourth or fifth seamer in the side. And like Siraj made his place in the team by performing for India A, Navdeep Saini has done the same and he has bowled well everywhere. So, considering the First-Class record and current form, I think Navdeep Saini will come into the team,” Patel had said before India announced their playing XI.
T Natarajan also had a dream debut for India in the limited overs leg of the tour Down Under. He picked up two wickets on ODI debut and also picked up six wickets in his first three T20Is, helping India win that series 2-1. However, Patel believes white ball success should not be a parameter for judging someone’s red ball credentials. He believes Natarajan needs to prove himself in red ball cricket to earn his Test debut.
“I think this year has been brilliant for T Natarajan but this success has been in white-ball cricket only. He is a tempting option to include in the eleven. But it will send the wrong message that you are playing someone Test cricket on the basis of his IPL form,” Patel had said.