Bengaluru, June 12: Gautam Gambhir is known to be a man who expresses his views without any inhibition. On Tuesday (June 12), Gambhir trolled some members of the Delhi and District Cricket Association, former Indian cricketers Bishan Singh Bedi and Chetan Chauhan after Navdeep Saini was drafted into the India squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan, starting here on June 14.
Gambhir had to wage a stiff battle to include Saini, originally from Haryana, in the Delhi Ranji Trophy team in 2014. A section of the DDCA and some former cricketers were allegedly hesitant to consider Saini because he was not a Delhi local.
"My 'condolences' to few DDCA members, @BishanBedi @ChetanChauhanCr on selection of 'outsider' Navdeep Saini to India squad. Am told black armbands are available in Bangalore too for INR 225 per roll!!! Sir, just remember Navdeep is an Indian first then comes his domicile @BCCI," Gambhir told through his Twitter handle a day after Saini got entry into the India squad.
My ‘condolences’ to few DDCA members, @BishanBedi @ChetanChauhanCr on selection of ‘outsider’ Navdeep Saini to India squad. Am told black armbands are available in Bangalore too for INR 225 per roll!!! Sir, just remember Navdeep is an Indian first then comes his domicile @BCCI— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) June 12, 2018
Even Saini, who had picked up 34 wickets from eight games last season for Delhi, had expressed his gratitude for Gambhir and some other Delhi teammates.
"Gautam bhaiya told me, 'Jaise tennis ball se dalta hai, waise hi dal. Koi tension nahi. Baaki sab theek ho jayega' (Just bowl like you bowl with a tennis ball. Everything will fall in place). I did what he told me and today I am here because of him. I don't know whenever I speak about Gautam Gambhir, I get emotional," said Saini
Saini had managed to impress the key Delhi players and entered the Delhi Ranji team despite initial resistance from the officials, who considered him an outsider from Haryana. Gambhir after watching him bowl for 15 minutes had decided that Saini was a rare talent, who should be groomed properly.
There were people who witnessed how Gambhir literally lost his cool during the net session when despite his repeated insistence, a Delhi selector (a former India opener) didn't even make a passing glance at Saini's bowling.
However, known for being stubborn, Gambhir got him into the team despite revolt from a notorious section of DDCA officials, who had distributed pamphlets, questioning Saini's eligibility, when he was marking his run-up for his first ever over in Ranji against Vidarbha.