A wiry Navdeep Saini once forced local batsmen to strap on abdomen guards, channelling his whippy tennis-ball bowling action to strike terror in faint hearts. Now the 26-year-old paceman, who makes his debut in the Caribbean, has bulked up to sustain the 150 kph assault. The Indian Express travels to Saini’s village, returning with tales of Indian cricket’s latest bullet train.
Two years, 12 No. 4s. India’s manic experimenting with the crucial spot in the batting order barely bore fruit. After constant changing, India’s World Cup campaign ended with 9-match-old Rishabh Pant walking in at that position. Vishal Menon and Shamik Chakrabarty chronicle a tragedy foretold.
Jimmy Neesham is back with the Black Caps after 18 months but Vishal Menon insists the chirpy tweeter, with a hot take on anything under the sun, was never gone. From taking swipes at Donald Trump to slog-sweeping trolls to all parts of the ground, Neesham is a refreshing change from the sanitised social media profiles of most cricketers
Naib's team heads to the English shores not as underdogs, but as unfancied outsiders who have the confidence to compete with the best. Ahmadzai, who has seen his team's growth from close quarters, will attest.