Navdeep Saini made a sparkling debut by picking up 3/17 in his debut T20I against West Indies. (Image credit: Twitter)
Navdeep Saini fought for a long time to gain recognition in Delhi Cricket's circles. After a couple of good seasons, Saini made it to the Indian cricket team and he was handed a debut in the first Twenty20 International against West Indies in Fort Lauderhill in Florida. The right-arm pacer impressed on his debut and picked up three wickets, including two in his first over and bowled a wicket maiden. His 3/17 off four overs made him a sensation and following his haul, Gautam Gambhir took to Twitter to praise Saini but also criticise Bishan Singh Bedi and Chetan Chauhan.
The youngster apparently had to face massive opposition from certain factions within the association, most notably from former India players Chetan Chauhan and Bishan Singh Bedi. Only one cricketer backed him and that was Gambhir. Following the tweet, Bedi has responded to Gambhir's comment.
Speaking to PTI, the former India left-arm orthodox spinner said, "I don't believe that I have to stoop to conquer like Gautam Gambhir. I would rather not react to his comments on twitter. I have never said a negative thing about Navdeep Saini. Also I believe if someone has made it, it's his credit not any Tom, Dick or Harry's."
Gambhir and Bedi have always had differences on various issues related to Delhi cricket and the 2011 World Cup hero didn't take it too well when the latter allegedly questioned Saini's selection a day before his first-class debut in 2013. Bedi had expressed his displeasure on the pacer's selection by allegedly writing a letter to then DDCA president Sneh Bansal. However Bedi denied that he had ever publicly questioned the merit of Saini's selection in the Delhi team despite being from Haryana domicile. "Who am I? I wasn't in any position of DDCA. I see that he (Gambhir) hasn't sobered even after becoming a Member of Parliament," Bedi said referring to Gambhir's election as an MP for the first time from East Delhi. Asked about Saini, Bedi replied: "The kid is outstanding. But I have only seen him on TV. Also he has just played one game for India. We should wait for some more time."
Following Saini's haul, Gambhir wrote on his Twitter account, "Kudos Navdeep Saini on ur India debut. U already have 2 wkts even before u have bowled-@BishanBedi & @ChetanChauhanCr. Their middle stumps are gone seeing the debut of a player whose cricketing obituary they wrote even before he stepped on the field, shame!!!" This was the second instance Gambhir had criticised the duo, having done the same when Saini was included in the Indian Test team for the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June 2018. Saini did not play the match.