After bowling a record breaking spell for Jharkhand in the ongoing edition of the domestic list A competition Vijay Hazare Trophy, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem is happy and satisfied to have made a match-winning contribution to his team and says that it is sticking to the basics which paid off huge dividends eventually.
Shahbaz, who has been outstanding across all formats in domestic cricket and is now a veteran with genuine claims of playing for India some day, simply ran through the Rajasthan batting line up on a pitch offering him substantial amount of side-ways turn but what stood out was the accuracy with which he bowled.
Nadeem inflicted astonishing and eye-raising match figures of 10-4-10-8 and saw his team stroll past the opponent, who could only manage 73 runs in 28.3 overs, with a win by 7 wickets.
Nadeem now holds the record of clinching best list A figures since Rahul Sanghvi picked up 8 for 15 for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh in the 1997-98 domestic season.
Talking about his bowling, the zone he found himself in and the record to Cricket Next, Nadeem was quoted saying, "I only got to know about the record after the match ended. I was just trying to bowl stump to stump at the start and land the ball in good areas," he added, "After that, I started to get a lot of purchase from the surface as well. But, I just wanted to bowl wicket to wicket so that even the deliveries that are not turning, will at least hit the stumps."
"I only focussed on line and length. If you are getting that right, with the variation in flight, I feel you can get wickets on any surface."
Nadeem also talked about the surprise he felt when the match referee made him aware of the hat-trick which he got in this spell. It was split across two overs, as he dismissed Mahipal Lomror and Chetan Bist at the end of the sixth over and then got Tajinder Singh out lbw off the first ball in the next.
Nadeem revealed, "Arey, mujhe to pata hi nahi chala maine hat-trick le li hai (I didn't even realize I had taken a hattrick), When it happened, the referee actually had to come down to tell me about the hat-trick."
While Nadeem has 375 wickets at 29.74 across 99 first-class games, he now has 124 wickets in 87 List A matches too.
Speaking specifically on becoming stalwart at a level just below International cricket and continuous hope and despair that he surely goes through on not yet being rewarded with an Indian cap, Nadeem reflected, "In whatever matches I play, I will try my best to pick as many wickets as I can, If your goal is to play for the country, you have to be different from other domestic players. For that, you will need to perform in every match, will have to give every match that much importance. Only the best 11 get a chance to play for the national team. I have to reach there."
"The selectors keep talking to me." he added, "They are very positive about me, they just keep telling me 'you wait for your turn, you turn will come', so it always feels good when the selectors appreciate your performance and keep you in the know-how."
Nadeem alongside fast bowlers Avesh Khan, M Prasidh Krishna and wrist spinner Mayank Markande were called by the team management to bowl in the nets before the Asia Cup recently, and he feels good about the time he shared with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma.
"I spent most of the time in Dubai with Mahi bhai, The coaches et al came on the last day of my trip, that is September 17 and the match was the next day, so I did not get a chance to speak with them." he said and further added on his Jharkhand teammate, "But, I spoke in great depth with Mahi bhai. He told me about the field positions, how it should be and depending on the surface, how I should change it. I got a lot of new ideas and that has certainly helped."