Chef Navdeep Saini rustles up fare for IPL
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended indefinitely but India pacer Navdeep Saini is staying optimistic and going ahead with his preparation for the T20 tournament.
“In the last IPL, I had performed in some matches, which also helped in earning me an India call-up. I learnt a lot from those matches and the experience I’ve had thereafter in international cricket has also been of great help.
“So at present, what I’m focusing on is keeping myself prepared so that once the matches begin, I can contribute to my team’s cause. If the IPL happens, I will try and make sure I fare even better. I’m not really thinking about the T20 World Cup or other assignments,” Saini told The Telegraph from his residence at Karnal in Haryana.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer finished with 11 wickets in last year’s IPL and then in August came his India debut during the T20I leg of the West Indies tour.
He has been impressive in the 10 T20Is and five ODIs in India colours, especially with his pace and the awkward bounce he can extract. Saini is now working on his yorkers and the slower delivery to hone his skills further.
“I’m concentrating more on the yorker, trying to make it my stock ball. The slower one is also another area of focus.
“See, as I said, I’m preparing keeping the T20 format in mind. And in this regard, yorkers and the slower deliveries are crucial.”
The 27-year-old has taken the lockdown in his stride. “If such a situation happens all of a sudden, it does affect you mentally. But you need to have the mental strength to deal with it.
“We need to do what needs to be done in order to save our country from this deadly virus. All steps that have been taken are right because humanity comes above everything else. Saving lives is the most important thing now,” Saini said.
Besides exercising in the gym at home, Saini is also working on his culinary skills. “Watching television and spending time with family are good ways to relax.
“I also do a bit of cooking, still learning it from my mother. I can prepare a few non-vegetarian items too. Breakfast khud hi banaa leta hu (I prepare my own breakfast).”
Keeping in touch with his India and RCB team-mates through online training sessions is also proving to be beneficial for Saini.
“We get to talk to each other, can find out what exercises and kind of workouts others are doing and can then get an idea of what could be good for us,” he said.