The last few days have been absolutely surreal for Shahbaz Nadeem. The left-arm spinner received his maiden Test call-up out of the blue on the eve of the ongoing third Test when Kuldeep Yadav complained of a shoulder pain. Hours later, he earned his maiden Test cap and got the opportunity to play his first international game in front of his home crowd in Ranchi.

The left-arm spinner didn’t have to wait much to get his maiden wicket. He picked up the crucial wicket of Temba Bavuma with a beautiful delivery to open his account in international cricket. The Jharkhand star went on to pick up one more in the first innings. Speaking at the end of third day’s play, Shahbaz Nadeem said that seeing his hard work paying off is a nice feeling. He also expressed his delight over making his Test debut at his home ground.

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“It feels nice that whatever hard work I put in in the domestic circuit paid off. Glad to make my debut at home. The Test cap has a different value for a cricketer, especially at home. There were some emotions, but I focussed on the match. I was nervous for the first three balls, but from the fourth ball onwards it felt normal,” said Shahbaz Nadeem.

Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem receiving his debut Test cap from Virat Kohli (Credits: Twitter)

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The spinner then went on to speak about his first wicket and the help he got from his fellow spinners in the team. He hailed Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as the best in the world.

(His first wicket) As a left arm spinner it was a nice delivery to spin the ball away, so it was a special wicket. It is always nice to play with senior players. They (Ashwin and Jadeja) share their experience and they are the best spinners in the world. I try and learn on seeing them bowl. As long as the ball was hard it kept turning, but as soon as it becomes soft it stops turning and goes straighter. Basically I have worked on my follow-through to ensure my body weight goes through at the time of release,” concluded Nadeem.

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