Tabraiz Shamsi

Tabraiz Shamsi

Player Bio

Tabraiz Shamsi, a name that has become synonymous with South African spin bowling, has carved a niche for himself in the world of cricket with his left-arm wrist spin. Born on February 18, 1990, in Johannesburg, Gauteng, Shamsi has showcased his prowess in the cricketing arena with his unique bowling style and ample variations. His journey, from the bustling streets of Johannesburg to the international cricket stadiums, is a testament to his dedication, hard work, and passion for the game.

Early Life and Entry into Professional Cricket

Growing up in Johannesburg, Shamsi's love for cricket was evident from a young age. As he honed his skills, he began to make a mark in domestic cricket circuits. Shamsi's journey in professional cricket saw him bouncing between the Highveld and Kwa-Zulu Natal. His breakthrough came after a stellar 2013-14 season playing for Easterns, where he bagged 47 wickets at an average of 20.02. This performance placed him third in the three-day cup wicket-takers' list.

His prowess in the 20-over format was further highlighted during the 2014-15 franchise competition. It was during this time that he caught the attention of the touring West Indies team, marking a significant milestone in his budding career. The year 2015 proved to be pivotal for Shamsi. He was signed by the Caribbean Premier League franchise, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, where under the guidance of coach Eric Simons, he showcased his talent by taking 11 wickets in just seven matches, with an impressive average of 13.27.

The subsequent cricketing season brought more opportunities for Shamsi at the franchise level, and he didn't disappoint. He emerged as the leading spinner in South Africa's first-class competition during the 2015-16 summer. Representing the Titans, he took a commendable 41 wickets at an average of 19.97, contributing significantly to the Titans' title victory. His consistent performances didn't go unnoticed, and in 2016, he was signed by the Indian Premier League's Royal Challengers Bangalore as a replacement for the injured Samuel Badree. This meant that, by this time, Shamsi had already made his mark in two major T20 leagues even before being selected for the South African national side.

His much-awaited debut for South Africa came in June 2016 during a triangular series in the Caribbean. Later that year, he donned the Test jersey against Australia in Adelaide. While Shamsi had to face stiff competition from established players like Keshav Maharaj and Imran Tahir, his perseverance paid off. He was a part of the 2019 World Cup squad and played two matches. However, it was post Tahir's ODI retirement after the 2019 World Cup that Shamsi truly began to shine. During the 2019-20 summer, he was a standout performer in the Mzansi Super League and played a pivotal role in the Paarl Rocks' tournament-winning campaign. His ability to take crucial wickets, coupled with his skill to maintain pressure from one end, made him an invaluable asset to the South African cricket team.

Shamsi's journey from his early days in Johannesburg to representing South Africa on the global stage is a tale of determination, skill, and an undying love for the sport. As he continues to spin his magic on the field, cricket enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await his next spellbinding performance.

 Rise in the International Arena

Tabraiz Shamsi's ascent to the international stage was marked by his inclusion in South Africa's squad for the 2016 West Indies Tri-Series. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut during this tournament on 7 June 2016 against Australia. Not long after, Shamsi was handed his Test cap, making his debut for South Africa against Australia on 24 November 2016. Nathan Lyon became his first Test wicket, a momentous occasion for any budding cricketer. His Twenty20 International (T20I) debut came against England on 21 June 2017.

Following the retirement of the veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir from ODI cricket in 2019, Shamsi began to emerge as the primary spin option for South Africa in limited-overs cricket. His prowess was further highlighted when he topped the ICC T20I rankings for bowlers in March 2021, following a commendable performance in a 3-match T20I series against Pakistan in Pakistan, where he picked up 6 wickets.

Notable Performances and Achievements

There have been various highlights throughout Shamsi's international career. He took his first five-wicket haul in One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka in September 2021. This success led directly to his selection for the South African side competing in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in 2021.

On July 31, 2022, in the third and final Twenty20 International between South Africa and England at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, he accomplished one of his greatest accomplishments. In just four overs, Shamsi took 5/24, a remarkable effort. To collect a five-wicket haul for South Africa in Twenty20 Internationals, he became the sixth different player to do so. And with his fourth wicket in that game, he passed Dale Steyn as South Africa's all-time leader in Twenty20 International wickets with 65.

Shamsi was recognised as the 2021 CSA Awards Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year for his great performance for the South African cricket team. In addition, he was selected for inclusion in the ICC Men's T20I Team of the Year for 2021 because to his dominance and reliability in the shortest version of the game.

Shamsi's Unique Bowling Style and Statistics

Tabraiz Shamsi is renowned for his left-arm unorthodox spin bowling. This style, often termed as 'chinaman', is rare and requires a unique skill set. Shamsi's ability to turn the ball both ways, combined with his variations, makes him a formidable opponent for batsmen.

As for his statistics, they speak volumes about his talent and contribution to the game:

Test Matches: Played 2 matches, taking 6 wickets with a best bowling figure of 3/91.

ODIs: Featured in 43 matches, claiming 56 wickets. His best bowling in this format is an impressive 5/49.

T20Is: Shamsi has played 61 T20Is, bagging 74 wickets with a standout performance of 5/24.

First-Class Matches: In 84 matches, he has taken a staggering 334 wickets with a best bowling figure of 8/32.

These statistics not only highlight Shamsi's ability to perform across formats but also underscore his importance in the South African bowling line-up.

Memorable Moments in Shamsi's Career

Test Debut Against Australia: Making a Test debut is a dream for any cricketer, and for Shamsi, this dream came true on 24 November 2016 against Australia. What made it even more special was that Nathan Lyon, a seasoned Australian spinner, became his first Test wicket. This moment marked the beginning of Shamsi's journey in the longest format of the game.

Topping the ICC T20I Rankings: In March 2021, Shamsi reached the pinnacle of T20I bowling rankings. This was a testament to his consistent performances and his ability to bamboozle batsmen in the shortest format. Climbing to the top of international rankings is no small feat, and this achievement solidified Shamsi's place among the world's elite spinners.

Five-Wicket Haul Against England: On 31 July 2022, Shamsi showcased his class against a formidable English batting line-up. His figures of 5/24 not only helped South Africa clinch the match but also made him the sixth South African to achieve a five-wicket haul in T20Is. This performance was a clear demonstration of his match-winning abilities.

Surpassing Dale Steyn's T20I Record: In the same match against England, Shamsi's fourth wicket marked his 65th in T20Is, allowing him to overtake the legendary Dale Steyn as South Africa's highest wicket-taker in the format. Achieving this milestone, especially surpassing a player of Steyn's calibre, was a moment of immense pride for Shamsi.

Recognition at the CSA Awards: Being named the Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year at the 2021 CSA Awards was another feather in Shamsi's cap. This award was a recognition of his outstanding contributions to South African cricket, especially in the T20 format.

Tabraiz Shamsi's journey in international cricket is a tale of perseverance, dedication, and sheer talent. From his early days in Johannesburg to representing South Africa on the global stage, Shamsi has showcased his prowess as a world-class spinner. His unique left-arm unorthodox spin has not only made him a crucial asset for the South African team but has also earned him accolades and recognition worldwide.

His achievements, be it topping the ICC T20I rankings or being named the Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year, are a testament to his hard work and commitment to the game. As Shamsi continues to spin his magic on the cricket field, he cements his legacy as one of South Africa's finest spinners.

While the future holds many more matches and potential milestones for Shamsi, one thing is certain: his passion, skill, and love for the game will continue to inspire budding cricketers and delight fans worldwide.

When did Tabraiz Shamsi make his international debut for South Africa?
Shamsi made his ODI debut for South Africa on 7 June 2016 against Australia.
What is Tabraiz Shamsi's bowling style?
Shamsi is known for his left-arm unorthodox spin bowling.
Has Shamsi ever topped the ICC T20I bowling rankings?
In March 2021, Shamsi topped the ICC T20I rankings for bowlers.
Against which team did Shamsi achieve his best T20I bowling figures?
Shamsi achieved his best T20I bowling figures of 5/24 against England on 31 July 2022.
How many wickets did Shamsi take in his Test debut?
Shamsi took two wickets in his Test debut against Australia in November 2016.