Shahbaz Nadeem cricket: The tried and tested spinner in the domestic circuit has earned a surprising Test comeback.
During the first day of the first Test of the ongoing England’s tour of India in Chennai, England captain Joe Root has won the toss and chose to bat in his 100th Test.
“This wicket will deteriorate and we want to make good use of it in the first innings. I do enjoy playing in India. It’s a big challenge and the boys will have to relish it,” Root told Star Sports at the toss.
Despite coming on the back of a 2-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka, England have had to make as many as four changes to their Playing XI which played at Galle.
The captain walks out for the toss in his 100th Test match for England! 🏴
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 5, 2021
Batsmen Rory Burns and Ollie Pope, all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer have replaced batsmen Zac Crawley and Jonny Bairstow, all-rounder Sam Curran and fast bowler Mark Wood.
Shahbaz Nadeem cricket
Much like England, India are also coming on the back of winning their last Test match against Australia in Brisbane. Despite the same, they have made five changes to their Playing XI which involved a whole different bowling attack.
“Would have batted first as well. It was an amazing phase for us, having a child is an amazing feeling and combined with the way the team played in Australia. We are not thinking about the Test championship at the moment, just take one game at a time,” India captain Virat Kohli told Star Sports at the toss.
As far as the changes for the hosts are concerned, Kohli, spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Shahbaz Nadeem and fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma have replaced the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj and T. Natarajan.
Nadeem, who wasn’t part of the 18-member squad selected for the first two Tests, has earned a surprise comeback after making his debut against South Africa at home in 2019. The 31-year old player was included as a late replacement for injured all-rounder Axar Patel.
A primary reason why Nadeem pinned down Kuldeep Yadav to earn a spot in the final XI is him being an orthodox left-arm spinner as compared to Yadav being a chinaman spinner. Had India played Yadav, it would have resulted in all three spinners turning the ball into the right-hand batsman and leaving the left-hand batsman.
As unfair as it is on Yadav, he couldn’t have played in Sundar’s place as well because that would’ve resulted in an extended tail as the hosts are playing with five bowlers. With both all-rounders (who bowl left-arm spin) in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel injured, India were highly likely to play one specialist all-rounder and one left-arm orthodox spinner.