Being a left-arm spinner, Shahbaz Nadeem has got the chance to get the attention of the head coach Ravi Shastri in the practice session or in domestic cricket. Indeed he got the attention, as the head coach himself took his time to give some important tips for the youngster alongside encouraging words, which motivated him to deliver the goods.
Who would have expected that Shahbaz Nadeem would end up striking the pose with the Gandhi-Mandela cup at Ranchi? However, destiny made it possible with the last-minute injury to Kuldeep Yadav, who was replaced by Nadeem at his home ground. Right away, he got the chance in the playing XI and delivered as well.
Shahbaz Nadeem, who made his debut in the Ranchi Test and impressed one and all with his bowling, picking up 4 wickets in the match as the home side won by an innings and 202 runs to sweep the series 3-0 against South Africa.
Ravi Shastri asked me to be ready – Shahbaz Nadeem
Speaking of the debut game, Shahbaz Nadeem quoted that Ravi Shastri asked him to be ready to play for India sooner than later. Even on the match day, it was the head coach, who revealed the news about his playing in the final Test match.
“In the past two-three series I was playing for the India ‘A’ team I had met Ravi Bhai. He had told me then to be ready, I could get a chance soon,” Nadeem told IANS. “I was always sure that the chance would come at some point because I was doing well in the domestic circuit and for India ‘A’. But when I did, it was at an unexpected time. It was quite sudden,” he said.
“Ravi Bhai told me during warm-up before the first day that I will be playing. He motivated me, told me to grab the opportunity and not take too much pressure. Don’t think that this is your debut match because you have played a lot of domestic cricket. It felt good to hear things like that from him,” he said.
Nadeem got two wickets in both innings and affected a run out during the match to cap off a splendid performance in his first international match for India. India needed 2 wickets on Day 4 to win the match and Nadeem concluded it off by sending back Theunis de Bruyn and Anrich Nortje off continuous deliveries in the second over of the day.