Shahbaz Nadeem debuts in Ranchi Test

Nadeem will play as the third spinner, along with Jadeja and Ashwin, as the team management decided to rest pacer Ishant Sharma.

Shahbaz Nadeem in action for India A against South Africa A in Mysuru.   -  FILE PHOTO/ G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

Jharkhand spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has been rewarded with a spot in the playing XI in the third and final Test against South Africa in Ranchi. India captain Virat Kohli handed him the debut cap.

The slow left-arm orthodox bowler — a consistent performer for his state and India A — walked into the side in place of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who complained of left shoulder pain on the eve of the Test.

India vs South Africa, Ranchi Test, Scorecard

Nadeem will play as the third spinner, along with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, as the team management decided to rest speedster Ishant Sharma.

On the surprise inclusion, Kohli said, “We checked on Kuldeep yesterday but he didn't respond well enough from his shoulder niggle. Nadeem is the local boy and it's a dream debut.”

READ| Nadeem replaces Kuldeep in India's squad for Ranchi Test

Former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman, who is in the commentary panel, said, “ I am happy domestic performances has been rewarded. If you see Mayank Agarwal also, he comes from there and now, he is scoring double hundreds.”

Nadeem has 424 first-class wickets in 110 games, and after M.S. Dhoni's success, a lot is expected from Jharkhand cricketers. He will be keen to make it count.

South Africa handed Test debut caps to wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen and all-rounder George Linde.

India won the toss and decided to bat first. “The bounce is going to be lower than in Pune but there will be spin and pace.

“It is about playing consistent cricket and applying pressure on the opposition. We have to do the hard yard and hold our own, and win sessions and situations,” Kohli added.

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