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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

15 years of toil ended in 14 hours, Shahbaz Nadeem makes Test debut out of nowhere in India vs South Africa 3rd Test at Ranchi

India vs South Africa: Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was handed his Test cap by India captain Virat Kohli ahead of the thrid Test match at Ranchi between India and South Africa

cricket Updated: Oct 20, 2019 07:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shahbaz Nadeem was handed his test cap by India captain Virat Kohli
Shahbaz Nadeem was handed his test cap by India captain Virat Kohli(ICC)

Even till Friday evening Shahbaz Nadeem was nowhere in the frame. He had just played a Vijay Hazare Trophy match in Alur, Karnataka and landed in Kolkata when the news of his inclusion in India’s Test squad came around 7 in the evening. 14 hours later, he was handed his Test cap by India captain Virat Kohli at his home ground - the JSCA International Sports Complex in Ranchi. Shahbaz Nadeem made his debut against South Africa in the third and final Test match of the series. (India vs South Africa 3rd Test live score, day 1)

15 years after making his first-class debut in a match which former India captain MS Dhoni was a part of, Nadeem was finally handed his India cap as the hots decided to go for three spinners with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja being the other two. Nadeem replaced Ishant Sharma in India’s playing XI.


“I don’t think it’s gonna be slow but it will keep lower than Pune maybe. Should spin at a decent pace. As long as it turns with pace on the ball, we don’t mind the bounce. Just one change - Ishant has been given a break. Shahbaz Nadeem makes his debut. Two seamers for reversing the ball. Unfortunately, Kuldeep couldn’t pull up. We checked on him yesterday but he didn’t respond well enough from his shoulder niggle. Nadeem is the local boy and it’s a dream debut. I’m really happy for him. It’s about playing consistent cricket for us. We’ll have to continue to work hard and look to win sessions of cricket. That’s the only message I look to pass on,” said Virat Kohli at the toss.

Nadeem was drafted into the Indian side after left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav complained of pain in his left shoulder on the eve of the third Test at Ranchi.

Nadeem has been one of the top performers in domestic cricket and for India A. He has 424 first-class wickets to his name in 110 matches at an average of 28.59. Nadeem started knocking on the doors after picking up 107 wickets in two seasons of Ranji Trophy between 2015 and 2017.

He picked up 51 wickets in 2015-16 season and bettered his performance with 56 wickets in the next season. Shahbaz Nadeem took 7 wickets in two matches against England Lions in February this year, at an average of 24.57. In India A’s next tour to the West Indies in July-August, he played in two of the three first-class fixtures, taking 15 wickets at an average of 16. He followed it up with powerful performances against South Africa A at home too last month, with 8 wickets in two matches at 16.75.

The left-arm spinner has also played for Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League and has scalped 42 wickets in 64 matches.

In 2018, Nadeem was called up in the Indian team for the T20 series against the West Indies at home but did not play a game.

South Africa, on the other hand, made five changes to their playing XI.

Apart from the injured opener Aiden Markram, they have left out Vernon Philander, Theunis de Bruyn, Senuran Muthusamy and Keshav Maharaj.

India Playing XI: Virat Kohli(c), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.

South Africa Playing XI: Faf du Plessis(c), Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi