Saini is currently one of the quickest red ball bowlers in domestic circuit and has been touted by many as one for the future after his consistent Ranji Trophy performance in the past two seasons. Saini is part of the four-day set-up of the India A team and is set to travel to UK next month. The 25-year-old has so far played 31 first-class games, taking 96 wickets.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Navdeep Saini as Mohammed Shami’s replacement in the Indian Test team for the upcoming Paytm Test against Afghanistan. The announcement came after Mohd. Shami failed to clear the fitness test at NCA, Bengaluru,” the BCCI release stated.
The Indian team has set a standard parameter of clearing the Yo Yo test, which gives a measure of a player’s endurance and fitness. The current benchmark is 16.1 for the India senior team and A team.
According to a senior BCCI official “Karun Nair and Hardik Pandya were the two best performers in the YoYo Test with scores of above 18.”
The 27-year-old Shami has been injury-prone and of late troubled by allegations of domestic violence by his wife. Shami, who has 110 wickets from 30 Tests, was initially removed from the BCCI’s Central Contracts List before being re-inducted after he was given a clean chit by a BCCI internal probe committee. He also had a narrow escape in an accident before enduring a poor IPL.
Meanwhile, the Indian team management has requested that India A fast bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Rajneesh Gurbani to attend the training sessions of the Indian team and bowl in the nets. A request was also made for Ankit Rajpoot, but the Uttar Pradesh fast bowler is unwell.
The BCCI also said that keeper-batsman Sanju Samson has also failed his fitness test and was replaced by former India U-19 captain Ishan Kishan, who had put up an impressive show for Mumbai Indians in the IPL.