Shahbaz Nadeem keen to focus on red-ball cricket to make it to the national side

Shahbaz Nadeem keen to focus on red-ball cricket to make it to the national side

He plays for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem (Photo Source: Twitter)

For the left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, cricket is a continuous process. The 29-year-old took a five-wicket haul for India Red against India Blue in the second league fixture of the ongoing Duleep Trophy in Dindigul on Sunday to begin his season with a bang. He has done well for Jharkhand in Ranji Trophy for the last 14 years and with 370 wickets in 98 first-class games, he is one of the best in the domestic circuit in India.

Nadeem was on a roll in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons of Ranji Trophy, taking 51 and 56 wickets respectively. His name is doing the rounds for a national berth for some time now but his dream hasn’t yet materialised. For many, the delay could have derailed the concentration but Nadeem has a mature head on his shoulders and sees things a bit philosophically to when it comes to his wait.

“To play for India, just performing alone isn’t enough. You have to see whether the place you are fighting for is empty. There are many players who have taken dozens of wickets in domestic cricket but haven’t got a chance to play for the country. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen with me (laughs),” The Hindu quoted Nadeem as saying.

I have to keep taking wickets

“Only thing I have to do is continue performing and keep taking wickets. That is what I have to concentrate on. As a player, you know that they are looking at you. It keeps you motivated that you are being watched,” he further added.

The queue for spinners for a berth in the national side is long enough and even an experienced left-arm spinner in Ravindra Jadeja is not getting chances regularly. Shahbaz Nadeem has been playing for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League for some years now but his focus is more on the longer version.

“Yes a good IPL can propel you into the national team. But in the IPL, I have just played 6-7 matches in the last couple of seasons. However, the selectors have told me that they are looking at me for the longer version. So if I have to get a chance in Tests, I have to do well in all four-day matches so that’s my focus,” he said.

Nadeem got his maiden call for India ‘A’ in 2013 and though he has been playing for them regularly for the last couple of years, he never takes the opportunity for granted for he knows it is a pre-step before making it to the national side.

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