Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner, troubles batsmen with his accuracy, a trait he has been encouraged to stick to by the spin-bowling mentor of his Indian Premier League (IPL) club, Muttiah Muralitharan.
Nadeem, a regular for India-A and a successful spinner in first-class cricket, has had sporadic success in the IPL. During his seven-year stint with Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), he was used as a restrictive option.
“Training under Murali has been great. I have picked up a couple of things under his guidance. I am implementing that in my bowling. He has asked me to stick to my stock-ball (spinning away from right-handers), and not to vary much from it,” Nadeem told PTI .
Consistency the key
Although, wrist-spinners seem to be in vogue in the shorter formats of cricket, the style of bowling should be a secondary consideration, according to Nadeem. Instead, consistency is key, he contended. “I think it doesn’t matter much if you are a finger spinner or wrist spinner, if you are consistent with your performance and are taking wickets you will eventually get a chance wherever you play. You just have to keep performing well,” Nadeem said.
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Nadeem is confident after a fruitful domestic season for Jharkhand, his State side, and a maiden national call-up. He registered figures of eight for 10 in a List A contest against Rajasthan in September, 2018, in Chennai. He was included in the Indian squad for the Twenty20 contest against Windies at home, but failed to make it to the playing XI.
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Reflecting on it, he said: “I was very happy just to be selected in the national side, it is a big thing for me. I was performing well at that time. If you don’t get a chance to play its okay, it motivates me to do even better and maybe next time I will get a game.”
Advice and encouragement
Nadeem was happy that head coach Ravi Shastri, himself a left-arm spinner in his youth, took personal interest in his bowling and gave him a few tips. “The experience in Indian camp was very good. Ravi Shastri was interested in my bowling. He told me what to do and what not to do. That helped me. The selectors are also in touch with me. I know the focus is on the World Cup [in 2019]but if I keep performing constantly I will get more chances.”
Commenting on his role in the Sunrisers bowling unit, he said: “Rashid Khan (a leg-spinner) is the main guy, we have to support him. My role has been defined. Haven’t put a number on how many matches I will get but have been conveyed my role,” he declared.