After a hefty loss against England in the first Test match, there were several questions about why Kuldeep Yadav was neglected and Shabaz Nadeem got the nudge ahead of him. When Virat Kohli came out in the press conference, his answer clarified the doubts and the thoughts that played an instrumental role in picking Nadeem over Kuldeep.
Shabaz Nadeem posted a pathetic display, to say the least. In the first innings against England where Joe Root, Dom Sibley, and Ben Stokes made merry against a lackluster Indian bowling attack, Nadeem leaked 167 runs from 44 overs which were the highest amongst the Indian bowlers. He managed a couple of wickets and they were of Root and Stokes.
In the second innings, he bowled 15 overs, scalped 2 wickets, and conceded 66 runs that helped England with their initial objective of playing a blitzkrieg. Nadeem struck Ollie Pope and Jos Butler to take out the sting from the English middle-order.
When Virat was asked about playing Shabaz Nadeem, the Indian skipper replied that they were exceptionally clear with their intentions of playing a bowler who would be bowling into the batsman. With Sundar and Ashwin in the side that saw both of them bowling off-spin and drifting the deliveries away from the batsman, India was in dire need of someone who could bowl close to the body.
Nadeem was the one who could have done that but in the process, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley took turns in hammering the left-arm spinner all around the park. Virat also mentioned that going forward they will be more focused on building combinations which will brag a lot more about variety.
Ideally, this may act as a word of caution to Kuldeep Yadav, India’s latest chinaman bowler, that he will have to elapse a good deal of time on the bench, despite his gentry of spin being a variety in itself.