Shahbaz Ahmed gets his India call-up after shining for Bengal and RCB

Shahbaz has played 18 first class matches and scored 1041 runs at an average of 41.64 with seven fifties and a hundred. He has also picked 57 wickets at an economy rate of 2.64.

Shahbaz Ahmed plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.

Shahbaz Ahmed plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. | Photo Credit: PTI

Shahbaz has played 18 first class matches and scored 1041 runs at an average of 41.64 with seven fifties and a hundred. He has also picked 57 wickets at an economy rate of 2.64.

Bengal all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed earned his maiden ODI call-up after he was named as a replacement for Washington Sundar ahead of the Zimbabwe ODIs.

Shahbaz has been instrumental to Bengal’s domestic success of late. Shahbaz has played 18 first class matches and scored 1041 runs at an average of 41.64 with seven fifties and a hundred. He has also picked 57 wickets at an economy rate of 2.64. Shahbaz had scored over 500 runs and picked up 35 wickets in Ranji Trophy 2019-20, when Bengal reached the final.

Shahbaz's List A record is equally impressive. In 26 matches, he has 662 runs at an average of 47.28 and 24 wickets at an economy rate of 4.43.

Shahbaz’s IPL journey began at Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2020. Over time, he has become an integral part of the squad. He was released ahead of the 2022 IPL auction but RCB re-signed him for Rs 2.4 crore. “If Shahbaz had gone for Rs 2.4 crore when we picked him in 2020, it wouldn’t have surprised me,” Malolan Rangarajan, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s head of scouting and fielding coach, had said in a chat. In IPL 2022, Shahbaz scored 219 runs at a strike-rate of 120.99 and snapped up four wickets at an economy rate of 9.60.

“I credit the whole scouting team for identifying him. We zeroed in on him in December 2019. Our scouting process is based on a lot of things, chief among them is the due diligence we do on the background of a player. That’s where Shahbaz stood out for us. He is a cricketer beyond his skill, so he would give us a lot more when pushed against the wall because those were the circumstances he was brought up in — his personal life or cricketing career. He is originally from Haryana. Imagine not playing for Haryana in Ranji through age groups and then moving to another part of the country and making your senior team debut with a domestic powerhouse like Bengal. That speaks about his character.”

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