You are up against West Indies, the gold standard in T20 hitting, on your international debut. Chris Gayle and Andre Russell aren't part of this side, but Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran are and each of them has been there and done that in T20 - and T10 - leagues around the world. You've just been a net bowler for India's senior team until Saturday. But, in the tour opener in Lauderhill, you best West Indies' top order and then cap your spell with a scarcely-believable wicket-maiden in the 20th over. Navdeep Saini belongs to this stage.
His captain certainly thought so. "He has come a long way since he started playing in first-class cricket," Virat Kohli said at the presentation. "[He] had a great season in the IPL with us (Royal Challengers Bangalore) last year as well. He's just a raw talent, [with] raw pace and he's someone who can really build a name for himself. There are hardly any bowlers around who can bowl 150 clicks and he's one of them. He's fit, he's hungry as well. It's a really good start for him and hopefully he builds on from here."
Saini might have felt some early jitters though, especially when Pooran lined up his second ball and belted it straight over mid-on for a mighty six on a two-paced pitch. However, Saini immediately pulled his length back and cranked up his pace up to 139kph to bounce out the left-hander. The next ball to Shimron Hetmyer was similarly short, but on a fourth-stump line, and the batsman could only drag it back onto his off stump. Just like that Saini was on a brink of a hat-trick in his very first over as an India cricketer.
"I think he bowled really well, as everyone saw and the most important thing is that he proved himself at different stages, whether it's domestic cricket, IPL or India A," Bhuvneshwar Kumar said at the press conference after the match. "Just before coming into the team, he played for India A in West Indies and he did well there.
"He bowls really quick and the wicket was a bit slow but he's a quick bowler, he bowls around 145-150kmh. So we'll get to see him bowl really quick on good bowling wickets."
Rovman Powell averted the hat-trick, but Saini and Washington Sundar, his IPL team-mate at Royal Challengers, had inflicted irreparable damage on West Indies.
It was Washington who had provided India with their first breakthrough, when he had John Campbell dragging a non-turning offbreak to deep midwicket. Washington then found considerable turn and bounce to draw a top-edged cut from Pooran, but the ball landed between short third man and backward point.
Earlier this year, Washington had largely ferried drinks for Royal Challengers and got just three games. In 2018, they had forked out INR 3 crore to get Saini on board, but bizarrely benched him for that entire season despite leaking runs at the death in nearly every game. #JustRCBthings
There are plenty of good signs about Saini. As Kohli and Bhuvneshwar said, he has raw pace, and as Pooran found out, he bowls a really sharp bouncer. Later, when Saini came face to face with Kieron Pollard at his calculated best, he showed he had the composure to prepare a plan - keep the ball away from the batsman's reach outside off - and execute it repeatedly. A string of wide yorkers kept Pollard on 49 before a slower ball trapped him plumb in front off a full toss.
It is just one game and it was on a pitch which was so two paced that shot-making was incredibly hard. Saini will face far greater challenges as he moves forward but it will be hard for him to break out of this moment right now. This moment when he won a game for his country and literally couldn't stop smiling as he was named Man of the Match.