Rajasthan Royals’ new recruit right-arm fast bowler Navdeep Saini expressed his excitement of playing under the Royals banner and working with team skipper wicket-keeper, Sanju Samson after the franchise acquired him for ₹ 2.60 Crore in IPL auction back in February.
Saini thinks that working under Samson’s leadership is going to be a fresh experience for him, regardless of the two having shared time playing for Team India and shared discussions off-field.
“I share a great rapport with Sanju. I have spent a lot of time with him on the national team and have had a lot of discussions with him off the field,” Saini said.
“I feel it’s going to be a fresh experience, playing under him; he’s someone who creates a fun atmosphere around the team which helps everyone settle in quickly and feel a part of the team.”
Saini’s excitement with Royals, fellow teammates
The former squad no. 96 for Royal Challengers Bangalore also expressed the same tone to Rajasthan Royals, fellow teammates bowler Trent Boult, head coach Kumar Sangakkara, Lasith Malinga among others. But for Saini, the opportunity to join Royals as one of the first-ever IPL champions is what he looks forward to.
“It’s wonderful to play for a franchise like Rajasthan Royals, who were the first-ever champions of the IPL. I’m looking forward to working with the very experienced coaching group and a talented group of players,” he explained.
“The Royals are known for fostering a fantastic atmosphere around the group, and I’m simply looking to experience that and connect with everyone and get going this season.”
Saini is currently considered as one of the country’s fastest bowlers and he is set to join the franchise’s bowlers corp. from New Zealander international cricketer Trent Boult, Rahul Tewatia, KC Cariappa and others.
However, for Saini, he is looking forward to working and improving both of his swing as well as accuracy as a bowler with one of the biggest names in T20I, fellow teammate Boult. Saini further explained that Boult’s experience in international cricketing and IPL could help him with various aspects of fast bowling.
“I am most looking forward to connecting with Trent Boult during the IPL. He is someone who has achieved so much in both international and IPL cricket, and it’ll be a great experience to just to speak to him about various aspects of fast bowling. I’ll be most focused on observing him go about his business and hopefully, that should also help in improving my own game,” Saini added.
Prior to Royals, injury
Before signing in with the Royals, Saini has suffered an injury last year, which made him miss the majority of IPL 2021. Since then, the former Delhi player has been struggling with his confidence as a bowler in cricket.
“I wasn’t able to play a lot of matches last season, but I think I’m coming into this season on the back of a lot of hard work that I’ve put into myself, both on and off the field,” he said. “I’m feeling good about my bowling again, and can’t wait to get back into the IPL and perform for the team.”