Former India pacesetter Ashish Nehra believes Navdeep Saini should be the “first choice” for the third fast bowler slot in the upcoming third Test against Australia due to his added pace and ability to deliver troubling resilience. While Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan are also in contention, the former left arm pacer believes that Saini’s selection for the Sydney Test, which starts on Thursday, is a matter of course given pure cricket logic. “If you look at the composition of the squad, Saini was the first choice and Shardul and Natarajan both came in as replacements for Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav,” Nehra told PTI on Tuesday.
“So if Saini was ahead of them in the first selection of the test teams, I don’t see any reason why he would slip into the pecking order. You selected him first, so you clearly thought he was better than the other two, didn’t you. , ‘said Nehra, known for his clear language.
But don’t you think that Saini’s indifferent show in two white ball games before he got a minus should count?
“By that logic, KL Rahul (now injured) should have opened in the first two tests. That’s not how it goes,” said the 42-year-old.
He then gave his points as to why Saini would be better suited for Sydney.
“Navdeep’s greatest assets are resilience and extra pace. This is a test match. How does Natarajan normally get his wickets? When people try to hit him. You also haven’t tested Natarajan by playing with him for India A like you did with Mohammed Siraj. , who has risen through the ranks, ”said Nehra.
“In the same way, Navdeep has also entered the ranks after several red-ball tours through India A. In test matches, batsmen don’t normally get out. You have to get them out.
The white ball games held in Sydney indicated that the deck was flat and that an express pace would come in handy on such surfaces.
“On the field in Sydney you need a bit more pace and Navdeep has that. There should be no debate as such. Sydney throws what I saw in white ball games, it was very flat.”
“So if the kookaburra seam is going to flatten out after a while, you need that extra tempo that Navdeep has and he can get a little reverse swing too,” said one of his India’s top exponents of swing bowling over the past decade.
The other factor is the current Australian team’s inability to play short-pitch bowling.
“This Australian team is also prone to short pitch bowling, unlike a Matthew Hayden or Ricky Ponting of old. Navdeep is better used as it throws a mean bouncer compared to a Natarajan or Shardul.”
Nehra was practical in his assessment.
“I’m not saying at all that Navdeep is the best bowler in India. He has to improve a lot. Saini is not a 145 to 150 km / h bowler like Shoaib Akhtar or a Brett Lee. They also bowling that that speed is maybe for three. up to four seasons. “
“Navdeep’s average speed is around 140, but of the three Navdeep is best suited to play the Sydney Test match.”
For Nehra, “bowling someone between 135 and 140 with better height and control is a much better proposition than a bowling at 148-150 mph, but is quirky.”
As for Natarajan, Nehra believes the Tamil Nadu Yorker sensation will not only do well in T20 Internationals, but also in the 50 over format as he plays regularly.
“If you do well in IPL, you will get a basic idea of what could bring you success in T20Is and if you can work hard after taking it quickly, you can also do well in ODIs, where you have a few more skills. need if the duration is longer. “
“Natarajan will be a good white ball bowler with his variations in T20 and 50 over cricket,” he said.
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