The India vs Afghanistan Test is scheduled for June 14.
Now when Saini has made it to the Indian squad, it was the time for Gambhir to take a dig at former DDCA committee members which had stopped Saini from being drafted to the state team. Am told black armbands are available in Bangalore too for INR 225 per roll!
Navdeep Saini had picked 34 wickets in 8 Ranji matches for Delhi in this season. "In today's meeting to finalise the Ranji team, an outsider, Navdeep, a fast bowler from Karnal has been selected". But seniors in the team like Gautam bhaiya never let me feel that pressure. "I wonder if you can even do it. If a few years back, a whole selection panel could have been summarily dismissed for selecting another Navdeep (Tomar), we see no reason why current committee can't be dismissed for overstepping their brief", the letter added.
Saini was summoned to bowl at the India nets during Sri Lanka series in December 2017 as the net bowler but it was Gambhir who told him to concentrate on Ranji Trophy final. The talented fast-bowler credit the former India opener for his success.
"Gautam bhaiya told me "Jaise tennis ball se dalta hai, waise hi dal. Today when I look back about those days, I smile", said Saini".
Saini rose to prominence in domestic cricket after a breakthrough season with the Delhi Ranji team, which finished runners-up to Vidarbha. Gambhir after watching him bowl for 15 minutes had decided that Saini was a rare talent, who should be groomed properly.
Reports had also suggested that they even distributed pamphlets protesting Saini's selection, who was called an outsider at that time.
"I remember every tiny little thing. I don't know whenever I speak about Gautam Gambhir, I get emotional", Saini had told PTI. Not to forget Ashish Nehra, Mithun Manhas, Sumit Narwal, who all stood by me.
Nearly immediately, the DDCA's Sports Working Committee issued a statement of disapproval which read: "A player who does not belong to Delhi, does not even play league cricket from any club of DDCA, has been included in the first XI against Vidarbha", the statement said, while stressing that the selection committee, headed by Chauhan, was "unduly pressurised by some external forces". He saw in me before I realized myself.