Navdeep Saini earns maiden Test call as Shami fails fitness Test

Test cricket
Mohammed Shami

Delhi fast bowler Navdeep Saini has been called into the India squad to face Afghanistan after Mohammed Shami failed a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengalaru.

Shami is reportedly suffering from an issue with his right hamstring and has been rested with a view to ensuring he is fit for the five Test series against England.

Saini took 34 wickets in eight Ranji Trophy (India’s main first class competition) matches for Delhi last season.

Shami had his participation in the Indian Premier League limited by the same hamstring niggle, playing in just four matches for the Delhi Daredevils.

Navdeep Saini and Kulwant Khejroliya of the Royal Challengers Bangalore before match fifty three of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2018 (IPL 2018) between the Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore held at the The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on the 19th May 2018.
Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

It is believed that he picked up the injury during the Test series against South Africa where he bowled a total of 83.3 overs starring in India’s consolation win at the Wanderers.

ESPN cricinfo report that Shami underwent a yo-yo test during training on Monday but it remains unclear if the decision to leave him out of the squad to face Afghanistan was taken after training or earlier.

Shami had been named as a replacement for Hardik Pandya in the World XI’s clash with the West Indies at Lord’s last month but failed to arrive for the charity international.

Saini is reportedly capable fo bowling in the 140 kmph+ category and will be travelling to England with the India A squad in July.

India squad: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur