Shahbaz Nadeem took his first wicket in Tests by getting Temba Bavuma stumped for 32. (Photo Credit: ICC Twitter)
Shahbaz Nadeem had plenty of reasons to celebrate when he was handed a debut in the Ranchi Test against South Africa. Nadeem was playing in front of his home fans and was knocking on the doors of Indian cricket team selection for a long time. On day 3 of the Ranchi Test, with India in a strong position thanks to Rohit Sharma's 212 and Ajinkya Rahane's 115, Virat Kohli's team decided to go for the kill. Zubayr Hamza hit a fifty and shared a solid partnership with Temba Bavuma but Ravindra Jadeja ended the stand by getting Hamza bowled for 62.
It was now Nadeem's turn to shine. In the second ball of his fourth over, Nadeem bowled a flighted delivery with a bit more loop. Bavuma danced down the track and looked to smother the delivery but the ball spun away and Wriddhiman Saha effected a rapid stumping to get Bavuma out for 32. It was a moment of absolute joy for Nadeem and the small crowd at the JSCA stadium were jubilant.
Nadeem became the fourth Indian bowler to take his first wicket courtesy a stumping. The first Indian bowler to take his first Test wicket by a stumping was WV Raman and his victim was Courtney Walsh. M Venkataramana was the second when he got rid of Desmond Haynes while Delhi offspinner Asish Kapoor got the wicket of Carl Hooper.
Nadeem, the left-arm orthodox spinner who was included in the India side after Kuldeep Yadav complained of a shoulder injury, will make his debut in the third and final Test against South Africa in Ranchi. Nadeem has been a prolific performer for Jharkhand and India A over a period of time. He has had back-to-back 50-plus wicket seasons for Jharkhand. Nadeem is only the second man in Ranji Trophy history to top 50 wickets in a season twice, having taken 51 in 2015-16. He emulated Kanwaljit Singh, the former Hyderabad offspinner, who had also accomplished the feat in consecutive years, getting 51 wickets in 1998-99 and 62 wickets in 1999-00.
The 30-year-old orthodox left-arm spinner has taken 424 wickets in 110 first-class matches with 19 five-wicket and five 10-wicket hauls. "The decision to add Nadeem was made after Kuldeep Yadav complained of left shoulder pain on Friday," chairman of selectors MSK Prasad was quoted as saying in a BCCI press release. In 2018, Nadeem was called up in the Indian ODI team for the T20 series against the West Indies at home but did not play a game.