Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem’s dream of playing for India was fulfilled on Saturday when he made his international debut in the third Test against South Africa on his home ground. And on Monday he made it a debut worth remembering as he finished with figures of 2/22 in South Africa’s first innings at the JSCA Stadium.
Speaking after the close of the third day’s play, Nadeem said that while he was a bit nervous at the beginning, the nerves settled down as the game progressed.
“It feels nice that whatever hard work I put in, in the domestic circuit, paid off. Glad to make my debut at home. The Test cap has a different value for a cricketer, especially at home. There were some emotions, but I focussed on the match. I was nervous for the first three balls, but from the fourth ball onwards it felt normal,” he added.
Nadeem also said playing with ace spinner like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja helped him improve his game and learn a lot.
“It is always nice to play with senior players. They (Ashwin and Jadeja) share their experience and they are the best spinners in the world. I try and learn by seeing them bowl. As long as the ball was hard it kept turning, but as soon as it became soft it stopped turning and went straighter,” Nadeem expressed.
Nadeem, who has 424 first-class wickets with an economy of 2.69, also said he has worked on his bowling. “Basically I have worked on my follow through to ensure my body weight goes through at the time of release,” he explained.