Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Navdeep Saini is a doubtful starter for his side’s all-important clash versus Mumbai Indians on Wednesday after suffering a split webbing in his bowling hand. Saini is believed to have gotten stitches after injuring his hand in the CSK clash on Sunday.
Needing still one victory to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, Royal Challengers Bangalore might miss out on the services of their talisman Indian seamer Navdeep Saini for their clash against Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Saini, who has featured in every game for RCB this season, is believed to have done damage to his right hand after suffering a split webbing in the clash against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
Saini, who returned figures of 0/19 in the CSK game off 3 overs, is said to have injured his right hand in the last ball of his spell. The news was confirmed by RCB physio Evan Speechly, who cast doubts over the participation of the 27-year-old in Wednesday’s clash.
"Saini has split his webbing in the last ball there," Speechly told RCB TV after the match.
"He obviously got hit on the right thumb. Fortunately, we had a good hand surgeon who stitched up nicely. We will monitor overnight and check whether he can ready for next match. I cannot be sure when he is good to go but hoping he will play next match."
Speechly revealed that skipper Virat Kohli suffered an identical injury four seasons ago, where he smashed a ton despite carrying the injury but claimed that with Saini, the case is different as he will have to apply significant pressure on his bowling hand.
"Virat four-five years ago had it in Kolkata. We managed to stop the bleeding and he smashed a 100 [113, against the Kings XI Punjab] after we got a plastic surgeon who had stitched it. Unfortunately, you cannot compare the two injuries. Some people manage it and some can't.
"It's also because Saini's injury is on his bowling hand, so it puts a lot of pressure on him. I cannot be sure when he will be good to go. I am hoping that he will be good to play in the next game and the rest of the tournament."
Saini, in many ways, has endured a disappointing season by his standards, picking just 5 wickets across 11 appearances. In the case of him being unavailable, RCB could either draft Umesh Yadav, a like-for-like replacement or bring back Isuru Udana for Moeen Ali and accommodate an extra Indian batsman.