By CricketCountry Staff
Delhi: Apr 21, 2012
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem on Friday revealed that he wished to become a fast bowler like Wasim Akram since his childhood but turned to spin only on the advice of his coach Imitiaz Hussain.
“I wanted to be a fast bowler because Wasim Akram was my idol but my coach Imtiaz Hussain asked me to bowl spin instead as I didn’t have the required height and the physique for fast bowling. I was about 11 or 12 years old at the time. He told me we would see about bowling fast later, so I started to bowl spin,” said the Delhi lad.
Recollecting his road to becoming a cricketer Nadeem said that, his parents wanted one of their child to continue studying while the other one could pursue their passion for cricket. “They wanted at least one of us to concentrate on studies. They told us that only one of us could play and that we would have to choose [which one of us got the chance].”
Nadeem said, since his brother was doing well in the game, he thought of continuing with his studies. “I told my dad that I would stop playing cricket. My brother started playing and since I was doing well in studies, I decided to give up cricket,” he explained.
But fate had it’s last say when Nadeem was selected for the Under-15 state level camp quite by chance. “At that time the state camp team was announced in the newspaper [and I was selected]. My second-term exams were over and the finals were in February-March and the Under-15 tournament used to be held in November. I told my father, ‘It is just a matter of one month. I will just go play and come back,” he said.
“I went to [the state] Under-15 [tournament] and in three innings I took 12 wickets so I was called for Under-15 India camp; I went there and got selected. When I returned, my brother said, ‘Okay, you play and I will stop playing cricket’.”
However things weren’t as smooth as it looks. Nadeem struggled to keep his place in the domestic side and was dropped after two matches in the recent Ranji Season. “After that I went to play in the Under-22 [team] because I wanted a chance to prove myself. I took 15 wickets in three innings and based on that performance I came back to the one-day side and was named Man-of-the-Match in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final.” He added
Nadeem himself is enjoying bowling in this format. “I think Twenty20 is a game of rhythm. You have to be very strict with your line and length. I personally feel that you have to do very well in your first over to get into the rhythm."
The Daredevils think tank is happy with their decision. “I am not surprised [with the way he has performed]. We have always known that he has the ability. The way he has put [it all] together – grasped the ability to drift the ball, turn the ball and control the length – is crucial," said DD head coach Eric Simons about the rising star.
He also added that domestic bowlers have an upper-hand in the T20 league. Since most of them represent their domestic sides they have an experience bowling on most of the pitches that are currently being used as venues for the matches. Nadeem concludes that he would like to work hard and continue his good run for Daredevils. With his impressive performance Shabaz Nadeem has further strengthened the Delhi attack making things difficult for the opposition.