Shahbaz Nadeem: The unsung hero
Born in the little town of Muzaffarpur, he was an early starter to the game. In his initial days, he broke into the Bihar Under-14 side. Consistent performance in Cooch Behar Trophy and Vinoo Mankad Trophy earned him a call-up to India Under -19 team. He played only one game for the India U-19 side. He came into the limelight where he bagged a nine-wicket haul against Sikkim in U-15 game.
Even before he made his First-class debut, Nadeem was seen as the next big left-arm slow bowler. Persistent performance in the Domestic Circuit saw him bag a deal with the Delhi Daredevils in 2011. He has been an integral part of the Delhi Daredevils side for some time now. he has scalped 40 wickets from 61 games with an economy rate of 7.37. The spinner has now become one of the senior members of IPL side and his consistent performances have gone somewhat under the radar.
In 2015-16 and 2016-2017 seasons of Ranji trophy, he was the highest wicket-taker for the Jharkhand side with a total of 107 wickets. He became the second player in the history of Ranji trophy to take more than 50 wickets in a season twice.
In September 2018, the left arm spinner scripted a fairytale and broke the 21-year-old record to register best figures in List-A cricket. He was instrumental in Jharkhand's mammoth win over Rajasthan in the Vijay Hazare trophy. He ended up with figures of 8-10-10 which also included a hat-trick. The previous record was held by Rahul Sanghvi of Delhi with figures 8-15-10.
The 29-year-old Shahbaz Nadeem is keeping no stone unturned to make it to the National team. The Muzaffarpur born cricketer has played 99 First-class matches and bagged 375 wickets at the average of 29.74. He's still optimistic for the call-up to Indian squad and he believes good performance in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy is a step towards achieving his dream.
Nadeem has been a regular fixture in the India 'A' side but the senior team call-up has always eluded him. The left-arm orthodox spinner is determined to don the India jersey. One can only hope that the selectors have opened their eyes and ears wide open for someone who has been an active performer in the domestic circuit for the last 4 years. The left-arm spinner can easily add an option to bowling attack of the Men in Blue.