With Jasprit Bumrah returning to international cricket after a long injury layoff, Navdeep Saini is looking forward to the opportunity to bowl alongside him. Bumrah has been recovering from a stress fracture and will mark his competitive comeback in the Sri Lanka T20I series that gets underway from Sunday.

Saini has so far played six internationals for India including an ODI and five T20Is. However, he’s yet to partner fellow pacer Bumrah at the international stage but that could change soon. “I can now share my weaknesses and shortcomings with him. I can learn more by watching him bowl. It will be a good opportunity for me. I am really looking forward to it,” Saini told PTI.

Saini made his India debut in 2019 and has been impressive. With a stiff competition among the fast bowlers to make it to the playing XIs across formats, the 27-year-old Saini has been given chances when others have been injured or rested.

But he has no qualms.

“Our bowling attack is the strongest at the moment and that gives me that extra motivation. And that I have to work even harder to secure a regular spot,” he said.

But he knows consistent performances can push him up the pegging order and even make him a prime contender for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. “From hereon, every match and series is important for me. If I do well, I can also grow well as a cricketer and the team will also win. I don’t think too far ahead. Always I take one match at a time and think of giving my best every time,” he said.

Putting in the extra mile and having a strong mental attitude is Saini’s mantra for 2020. “All my hard work paid off and I had a successful 2019. It’s about putting in that extra mile again so as to secure my place. It’s about becoming mentally strong. Everything boils down to the fact that how strong you are mentally. You can put in that hardwork if are strong mentally,” he said.