Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Shami replaced by Saini on India Test team after failing fitness test

India Cricket Team Navdeep Saini to replace Shami in one-off Test
Cassandra Castillo | 14 June, 2018, 02:57

For one-and-a-half years I have been out of the team and making efforts to improve my skills. Even now, irrespective of the position I bat at, I consider myself as a proper batsman. They will be helping out the batsmen with their practice ahead of the Test match.

If Nair does make the XI, it will be his first global appearance since the Dharamsala Test against Australia in March previous year. A successful A tour of United Kingdom as captain can help him a secure a spot for the England series but Nair prefers staying in the present. "For me, there's still a long way to go". I still have this Test match to play and the "A" series comes only after this game.

I'm not thinking so far ahead. "I'm sure he will conquer it, but whether he will conquer it in the first game, we'll have to see". Maybe, I will get to play Afghanistan's first-ever test.

Along with these, they have also named Zahir Khan and left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak - who incidentally emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the recently concluded first-class competition.

Though Navdeep Saini was the part of Royal Challengers Bangalore squad in the IPL 11, he did not get to play a single game.

Afghanistan, who have fast established themselves as a force to reckon with in the shorter formats, will become the 12th side to figure in men's Test cricket after Ireland debuted against Pakistan last month. "In one over at Headingley, Bess delivered more full tosses than R. Ashwin offers up in a year, a prospect that players like Virat Kohli and M. Vijay should be relishing". "So, it will be new for everyone", he said.

More news: Trump feuds with Trudeau as Vt. officials fret

Nicknamed the "Afghan Afridi" for his wicket-taking celebration mirroring those of Pakistan's mercurial all-rounder Shahid Afridi, Khan has taken world cricket by storm with successes in major T20 competitions like the Indian Premier League, the Caribbean Premier League and the Big Bash in Australia.

Navdeep Saini picked 34 wickets in the Ranji Trophy 2017-18. He will be looking to prove that he is not a one-innings wonder after becoming only the second Indian to score a triple ton.

"It has been two years. I think it's going to be a challenge for everyone".

And wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad also admitted that Afghanistan's spinners, particularly Rashid - who is now ranked number one and number two in T20Is and ODIs respectively - are as good as any other spinners in the world and can push India hard in Bengaluru.

"But you know what, you are not looking to get that".

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