Former SRH coach Tom Moody heaped praise on India’s rising star Navdeep Saini and labelled him a ‘world-class fast bowler’, who loves to take the responsibility of bowling at the death. With SRH requiring 29 off their last 3 overs, a double-wicket over from Saini sealed the deal for the Reds.
Despite Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) breaking the bank for Chris Morris and re-signing Dale Steyn to solve their problems on the pace bowling front, there was always a feeling within the masses that Navdeep Saini was going to be their go-to man. And in the club’s season-opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Saini proved the loyalists right. After conceding just 18 runs off his first three overs, Saini came back at the death and finished the job for his side, castling both Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to shut the door on an SRH heist.
The 27-year-old has received praises from fans and experts alike around the world for his stellar showing, and in the wake of RCB’s 10-run win on Monday, former SRH coach Tom Moody jumped on the Saini bandwagon. Moody noted that the right-armer is a world-class fast bowler, who enjoys the responsibility of bowling at the death.
“Saini is one Indian bowler that excites me. He is a genuine, world-class fast bowler. He’s got that pace, he is closing in on 150, he threatens all batsmen - not just the tailenders, he’s also got the top-order batsmen dancing on their feet,” Moody said in ESPNCricinfo’s ‘T20 Time-out’.
“He’s got that aggressive streak in him too, which I like. The other value he brings to RCB is he is one bowler that clearly enjoys the role of bowling at the back end of the innings. A good confidence boost for RCB knowing they’ve got one death bowler firing.”
Saini was not the only young Indian who impressed on Monday as local lad Devdutt Padikkal stole the show single-handedly, scoring a fifty on his IPL debut to remind the world to take him seriously. Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar, on the same show, reckoned that the 20-year-old batted a lot like Yuvraj Singh.
“He opened the innings and looked so calm at the start of the innings. Reminded me a little bit of how Yuvi used to bat - tall, lanky with great timing. He just seemed so calm at the crease, which is such a positive for a young player who hasn’t played before at the highest level,” said Agarkar.
While reminding fans to take Padikkal’s performance with a pinch of salt, Agarkar claimed that the southpaw’s rise was a huge positive for Virat Kohli’s side.
“A big positive for RCB, and while one game is too early to make judgements on anyone, there are some real positive signs.”