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Tabraiz Shamsi – South Africa’s New Spin Hope

More than 30 years after their return from isolation, South Africa have only one international trophy to show for their efforts – the inaugural ICC Knockout, now named the Champions Trophy, which was held in 1998. There have been many slip-ups since, and two generations of great players have come and gone without being able to lift the biggest trophies.

Expectations are no longer as high, but as South Africa head into the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, there are hopes that Tabraiz Shamsi’s left-arm leg-spin might provide the X-factor to a team that has often lacked it. After an incredibly successful 2021 in the national team’s colors, Shamsi could well be a game-changer on pitches expected to aid spin bowling.

After they came back to the international cricket fold in 1991, South Africa’s progress was based on aggressive fast bowling and solid batting. The lack of a truly world-class spin bowler often cost them in crunch situations. During the heart-breaking semi-final tie against Australia that cost them a place in the 1999 World Cup final, Shane Warne wrecked their hopes with 4 for 29. South Africa didn’t even play spinners in that match.

That had changed by 2011, when Imran Tahir’s leg-spin was a key part of South Africa’s game plan. He was again central to their hopes in 2015, when Shamsi was his understudy, and four years later in England. With Tahir now no longer part of the plan, the onus is on Shamsi to confuse opposition batters.

It was Shamsi’s performances in the Caribbean T20 League in 2015 that put him in the spotlight and prompted the Bangalore team to bring him to the Indian T20 League in 2016, even before he had made his debut for South Africa. That stint didn’t really showcase the best of his ability, and his next appearance in the competition – with the Rajasthan team in 2021 – was similarly uneventful.

But in T20 competitions at home and elsewhere across the world, Shamsi has built an impressive resume. With the national team, he’s now the top white-ball spinner, having soaked up plenty of knowledge from Tahir. South Africa may not be one of the favorites for the event, but Shamsi, the current No.1 T20I bowler, and his teammates are more than capable of upsetting the odds.

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Tabraiz Shamsi’s Personal Details

    • Name
    • :
    • Tabraiz Shamsi
    • Date of Birth
    • :
    • 18th February 1990
    • Birthplace
    • :
    • Johannesburg
    • Height
    • :
    • 5′7″
    • Bowling Style
    • :
    • Left-arm wrist spin
    • Playing Role
    • :
    • Bowler
    • Teams Played For
    • :
    • South Africa, Bangalore team, Rajasthan team

Tabraiz Shamsi’s Current Rankings

Tabraiz Shamsi Career Summary

    • Format
    • M
    • Inn
    • Wickets
    • Best Bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Test
    • 2
    • 4
    • 6
    • 3/91 vs SL
    • 46.33
    • 80.50
    • 3.45
    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    • ODI
    • 30
    • 29
    • 40
    • 5/49 vs SL
    • 34.05
    • 38.8
    • 5.25
    • 1
    • 1
    • 6
    • T20I
    • 42
    • 42
    • 49
    • 4/25 vs PAK
    • 21.63
    • 19.1
    • 6.79
    • 2
    • 0
    • 9

Tabraiz Shamsi - Key Skills and Strengths

Left-arm wrist-spinners have always been seen as trump cards in cricket, mystery bowlers capable of destroying a batting line-up. Shamsi has a nice bag of variations, including a deceptive googly, but in limited-overs cricket, he also has the skill to contain the flow of runs. By nature, he is an attacking bowler and a genuine wicket-taking threat.

Tabraiz Shamsi Awards and Achievements

Since his debut for the South African cricket team in June 2016, Shamsi has struggled to hold down a place in the team. Opportunities in the Test XI have been limited by the presence of Keshav Maharaj, and it was only after the 2019 World Cup that he established himself on the ODI and T20I teams, replacing Imran Tahir, his great friend and mentor. Going into the T20 World Cup, Shamsi is very much at the forefront of South Africa’s spin attack.

Here are some Shamsi’s achievements in international cricket:

  • He is the current No.1 T20I bowler in the ICC rankings.

  • With 28 wickets already, Shamsi is well on course to beat Andrew Tye’s record of 31 T20I wickets in a calendar year.

  • Of those who have taken more than 25 wickets in a year in T20Is, Shamsi’s economy rate of 5.53 is by far the lowest.

Tabraiz Shamsi’s Indian T20 League Journey

Shamsi caught the eye of the international cricket experts and cricket bodies with his performances in the Caribbean T20 League in 2015. When injury ruled Samuel Badree out of Bangalore’s 2016 Indian T20 League campaign, it was Shamsi they turned to as a replacement. He found the competition a good deal harder than the Caribbean T20 League, and ended up playing just four matches. Another four years went by before he got another chance, this time with Rajasthan in 2021. Again drafted in as a replacement for the second half of the season, he made just one appearance.

    • Format
    • M
    • WIckets
    • Best Bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Indian T20 League
    • 5
    • 3
    • 1/21 vs Gujarat
    • 60.33
    • 40.00
    • 9.05
    • 0
    • 0
    • 1

Tabraiz Shamsi: FAQs

Which West Indies cricketer noticed Shamsi’s talent, paving the way for his first Caribbean T20 League contract?

Marlon Samuels, adjudged the Man of the Match in both the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cup finals, was impressed by Shamsi’s bowling in a practice match when the West Indies played in South Africa in 2014.

Which left-arm bowler was Shamsi’s hero when he was growing up?

Wasim Akram, the Pakistan pace legend.

What did Shamsi want to be when he was a kid?

He originally wanted to be a professional magician. In interviews, he has spoken of how seriously he took those magic tricks.

Which Australian cricketer, who starred in the Indian T20 League in 2021, was Shamsi’s first international wicket?

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell was trapped leg before by Shamsi in an ODI played in Guyana in June 2016.

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