Jalaj Saxena can consider himself one of the unluckiest cricketers on the Indian domestic circuit. Despite dishing out stellar performances for his home state Madhya Pradesh and later Kerala as well as India 'A', the all-rounder has never received the call-up to the Indian team. But on Sunday night, the 34-year-old finally made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut.
Punjab Kings (PBKS) handed him debut in the clash against Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Saxena was part of Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and DC squads in the past, but never got a chance to showcase his skills on the big stage.
He was roped in by PBKS for Rs 30 lakh in the IPL auction in February. The man from Indore was miserly with his off-spin bowling in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy this season.
Saxena did not get a chance to bat on his debut as PBKS made 195/4. He then gave away him 27 runs from his three overs as the spinner struggled to grip the ball with plenty of dew on the outfield.
Saxena pulled off a stunning catch off Mohammed Shami's bowling. But Marcus Stoinis got a reprieve as the third umpire ruled it a no-ball since the ball was above waist high. Though DC went in to win the match by six wickets, it was a night to remember for Saxena.