The man who derailed Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy clash here on Friday learned his skills in the TNCA senior league in Chennai.
It would not be a happy thought for the host that several outside cricketers are making better use of the TNCA league than themselves.
Talking Sportsstar After winning six matches on the last day, Shoaib Md. Andhra spinner Khan said, “I owe a lot of thanks to Nelson. [his team in the league]To Mr. Srinivasa Raj and TNCA”.
He added, “In fact, I learned how to bowl long runs and maintain consistency while playing in the TNCA premier league.”
Shoaib’s Chennai connection does not end there. R. Ashwin is his role model in off-spin. He did his 11th and 12th studies at San Beda School, and then graduated from New College.
Asked about bowling in a high-pressure situation in Tamil Nadu’s second innings, Shoaib said, “I enjoy bowling in these situations. It brings out the best in me.”
He added: “I was bowling. I was focusing on the next delivery and what I needed to do. I didn’t let any pressure in.”
Having to carry a huge load – two Andhra bowlers B. Ayappa and Lalith Mohan were injured as the game went into the climactic phase – Shoaib said: “He bowled me with more control. The pressure brings out the best in me.”
Shoaib said he used three types of deliveries. “My off-spinner, who comes with his arm and holds his line. They have brought me great success.”
He said: “I wanted to settle on good pace and bowling in the right areas because there was support from the field. At the end, as Tamil Nadu approached, I knew it was a one-run affair.’
Of all his wickets, Shoaib liked to dismiss B. Aparajith. “He can take the game away from you quickly. I threw the perfect cuss delivery through the door to lock it up.
Shoaib spoke about the inspirational patron Hanuma Vihari. “He is the reason I am playing cricket. He is an inspirational figure who fills the players with confidence.’
Shoaib made an innings of 84 against Mumbai in the previous Ranji game. And his 28 not out on the fourth day here was a vital contribution. “I consider myself a lover of beauty. And I practice batting a lot in the nets,” he said.
No prizes here for guessing Coimbatore’s Man of the Match.