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"Shahbaz Nadeem was trying too hard to bowl quick" - Pragyan Ojha

Shahbaz Nadeem could not restrict the flow of runs in the first Test against England
Shahbaz Nadeem could not restrict the flow of runs in the first Test against England
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 12 Feb 2021
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Pragyan Ojha believes Shahbaz Nadeem might have lost his rhythm in an attempt to bowl quicker in the first Test against England.

Shahbaz Nadeem scalped four wickets across two innings in the first Test in Chennai. But the left-arm spinner was taken for almost four runs an over in the bargain.

While responding to fan questions on Sports Today, Pragyan Ojha was asked where Shahbaz Nadeem had gone wrong, considering that he is an experienced customer in the domestic circuit.

The former left-arm spinner responded that the 31-year-old went outside his comfort zone by trying to bowl too quick, which also resulted in him overstepping on quite a few occasions.

"If you have followed Nadeem in domestic cricket, he is not a guy who bowls quick. He is not a guy who bowls at Ravindra Jadeja's pace. But the wicket was slow. He bowling nine no-balls was a straight reason that he was trying too hard to bowl quick," said Ojha.

Pragyan Ojha highlighted that not all left-arm spinners can bring the same assets to the table as Ravindra Jadeja.

"When you are trying to do something which you are not used to or trying to generate something which you have never done, you end up pushing yourself more. That's the reason he ended up bowling those no-balls. Ravindra Jadeja has different strengths and he has been doing well for the country with the bat and the ball. But if everybody were Ravindra Jadeja, then why would we need a Ravindra Jadeja," added Ojha.
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"Shahbaz Nadeem should have bowled the way he wanted to bowl" - Pragyan Ojha

Shahbaz Nadeem has scalped more than 400 wickets in first-class cricket
Shahbaz Nadeem has scalped more than 400 wickets in first-class cricket

Pragyan Ojha pointed out that Shahbaz Nadeem might have put undue pressure on himself in an attempt to secure a place in the Indian side.

"Nadeem should have bowled the way he wanted to bowl. He should have bowled to his strengths. When you are trying to make a place for yourself in the Indian team and you know you are not the first preference, all this pressure at times comes on you," observed the 34-year-old.

While acknowledging that Shahbaz Nadeem cannot be judged based on just one performance, Pragyan Ojha believes the Jharkhand spinner will have to make way for someone else for the second Test, considering the importance of the series.

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"I am not blaming Nadeem but the situation was such that where he could not do much. There was a lot expected from him. So, at times that becomes a burden for you. It was unfair on him and I don't judge him on that. But the need of the hour is that we need to win this Test match for the World Test championship, so changes will be there," concluded Ojha.

Axar Patel is likely to replace Shahbaz Nadeem for the second Test to be played at Chepauk again. It would be interesting to see if Team India stick with Washington Sundar or include Kuldeep Yadav to lend more variety to their bowling attack.


Published 12 Feb 2021, 12:08 IST
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