August 12, 1989, Bokaro, Bihar
Also Known As
Right hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
Shahbaz Nadeem seemed destined to join the long list of high-quality Indian spinners who, unfortunately, never got to play international cricket when, out of the blue, he got called up to cover for Kuldeep Yadav on the eve of the Ranchi Test of 2019-20 against South Africa. The Test was being played at his home association; it was his proximity to the venue that ended his long pursuit of the India cap.
In the years leading up to that debut, Nadeem's left-arm spin had done all that could be asked of it. He had taken 424 first-class wickets, 81 of which came for India A at an average of under 30. He also held the record for the best figures in List A cricket: 8 for 10 against Rajasthan in 2018-19. He ended three seasons with more than 40 first-class wickets, but perhaps playing for Jharkhand, who usually played against weaker teams in the Ranji Trophy, went against him. It is tough to make it to the Indian team, but when Nadeem was the highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy in 2015-16, he wasn't even selected for Rest of India in the Irani Trophy.
So hard did Nadeem have to work for the India cap that he was 30 by the time he earned it, and had, among his team-mates, made the earliest first-class debut, as a 15-year-old back in 2004-05. He is one of the few to have played domestic cricket with MS Dhoni, his Jharkhand team-mate who didn't need to play for Jharkhand once he made it out of the drudgery of playing for a small-time domestic team.
Nadeem carries all the attributes of a successful Indian spinner: accuracy, long spells, subtle changes of trajectory, pace and seam positions, and most importantly, perseverance. He didn't seem to have one attribute for the first 15 years of his career: luck, which finally smiled on him following an injury to Yadav.
Shahbaz Nadeem Career Stats
Batting & Fielding
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Debut/Last Matches of Shahbaz Nadeem
List A Matches