Jharkhand has been one state that has been producing immensely talented cricketers for past few years. Some all round performances from each and every player registered a semi-final berth for Jharkhand in the 2016-17 season of Ranji trophy. We got a chance to interact with one of Jharkhand’s spearhead bowlers Shahbaz Nadeem. The left-arm bowler has been clinical in his approach and has bagged more than 50 wickets in this season. Nadeem can be considered a bowler on whom a captain can rely upon. Consistency with the cricket ball is his ability and his ability is a captain’s asset for his team. Shahbaz shared his views and future plans with us in an interview.
Arsalan- Shahbaz, let’s first talk about your match against England XI. You attained figures of 41/2 in 10 overs including wickets of Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan. How do you feel about it ?
Shahbaz- It feels really good when you get opportunity to play for India A. When you perform against teams like England who are considered to be world class sides round the globe, it gives you a lot of confidence.
Arsalan- You have been performing consistently in Ranji Trophy. What are your future plans?
Shahbaz- When you perform well in domestic circuit, you just try that you eventually get to play for the country. It’s my passion to represent my country and I have been performing well for last 2-3 seasons. I’m also getting wickets so I just expect that I get a chance in future. And whenever I will get a chance to play for the team, I would just like to perform well.
Arsalan- You had a long chat with Saqlain Mushtaq. So tell us about that.
Shahbaz- Yeah I had a talk with Saqlain Mushtaq about my bowling. I discussed about preparing myself for a particular match or handling a specific situation. I took tips about the famous “Doosra” that he used to bowl because I also bowl it regularly.
Arsalan- What are your thoughts about Jharkhand’s performance in Ranji Trophy 2016-17?
Shahbaz- It is really motivating to perform well. Last year we were in Group C, then we moved into Group B so that’s quite motivating and then we performed well and registered a place in semi-final. Moreover, previously it was said that Jharkhand players are good in shorter format but it’s not like that. We played well in longer format too. There are many players who are really good names in the cricketing circuit like Saurabh Tiwary, Varun Aaron, Rahul Shukla, Ishank Jaggi, Ishan Kishan, Virat Singh. Individually, they are all talented and as a team they have been performing well for past two years. It is also essential that when bowlers are doing well, they are supported by the batsmen and this has happened in past couple of years.
Arsalan- MS Dhoni accompanied you during this Ranji season as a mentor. Tell us something about that.
Shahbaz- There has been a lot of learning from MS Dhoni and everybody would want a piece of him as he is a very good thinker of the game. His decisions are very positive and it is really good for us that he accompanied our team. This is a very young side so if such a maestro is sharing dressing room with us, it is itself a big thing. He comes to you and discuss about the things himself.
Arsalan- How do you see Virat Kohli as a captain ?
Shahbaz- As a captain, MS Dhoni is a cool minded skipper as on the other side Virat Kohli is aggressive in his captaincy. Everyone has his different style but what matters is the result. They are two different leaders but both want same result at the end.
Arsalan- How do you keep fit and what importance does fitness regime has in a cricketer’s life ?
Shahbaz- I’m quite naturally fit but this is one aspect which is the most important. You are busy with cricket whole year so fitness is a huge thing. To play so many matches on the trot, you need to be really fit and active. We also have camps regarding this fitness camps.
Arsalan- Shahbaz, let’s just go back in time and talk about your early days ?
Shahbaz- I used to stay in Muzaffarpur. But there were not much opportunities for cricket. I later shifted to Dhanbad where my father was posted. We had a ground nearby where an academy called Tata Sports Academy (TSA) was set up. I first saw a match between Bihar and Odisha in that very ground and developed interest in the game. Imtiaz Hussain was my first coach.
Arsalan- Tell us about your IPL preparations.
Shahbaz- Right now I’m just focusing upon the upcoming matches. We have Irani Trophy, Vihay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Trophy lined up. So right now my focus is to perform in the matches coming my way. I will later on get time to prepare for Indian Premier League also.
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