File photo of Shahbaz Ahmed.© BCCI/IPL
Shahbaz Ahmed has expressed his delight on getting a maiden national call-up for India’s ODI series against Zimbabwe. After his impressive performances for West Bengal in the Ranji Trophy 2022 and for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL this year, the selectors decided to give the player a chance to join the Indian team during its ongoing tour of Zimbabwe. The series has three ODI matches, starting August 18. It is worth noting that Shahbaz was not included into the squad earlier but Washington Sundar got ruled out of the series due to a shoulder ijury injury and the Bengal all-rounder was roped in into the squad as a replacement player.
“Everybody who plays cricket wants to wear the India colours. Being called up for the Indian team is a dream come true. Whenever I have played for Bengal, I have given my all. The Bengal team believed in me,” Shahbaz was quoted as saying by PTI.
“Given a chance, I hope I can win matches for India with my batting and bowling. I hope the team can bank on me,” he added.
Though he has made it into the 16-member India squad, it will be difficult for Shahbaz to make a place for himself in the playing eleven with Axar Patel being his biggest competitor in the role.
The second and third ODIs between India and Zimbabwe will be played on August 20 and 22, respectively.
India squad for 3 ODIs: KL Rahul (captain) Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj and Deepak Chahar.
(With PTI Inputs)
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