February 24, 2024

India vs England: Shoaib Bashir and James Anderson named in the squad for the second Test

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Shoaib Bashir played only six first-class matches

India vs England, 2nd Test

Dates: February 2-6 place: Visakhapatnam time: 04:00 GMT

coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app with daily Test match audio on BBC Sounds.

Off-spinner Shoaib Bashir will make his England debut in the second Test against India in Visakhapatnam.

The 20-year-old replaces the injured Jack Leach, while James Anderson replaces Mark Wood.

Bashir first came to the attention of England captain Ben Stokes when a video of him bowling for Somerset was posted on Twitter, and now X.

“I fully support him and look forward to him hopefully putting on a show,” Stokes said.

Although Bashir has only played six first-class matches, England believe his height and the amount he tries to spin the ball could make him valuable in India.

Bashir's selection for this tour was similar to that of Lancashire left-arm spinner Tom Hartley, who took 7-62 in the second innings of England's stunning 28-run win in the first Test in Hyderabad.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Stokes said: “He's got that natural ability, where he launches the ball from and how much energy he tries to put on the ball.

“Someone who launches the ball high and puts that much on the ball is going to have that natural variety. It's very difficult to play against him here. Some balls will spin, some will slide.”

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ben Fox, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson.

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Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook talks on Test Match Special about new England player Shoaib Bashir

Leach suffered a knee injury during the first Test and Stokes was unable to say how long the 32-year-old would last.

With Bashir's arrival, England will once again play with three forward players. Between them, Bashir, Hartley and Rehan Ahmed have just three Test matches to their name.

Anderson, in return, will collect his 184th cap and, at 41 years and 187 days on opening day on Friday, will become the oldest seamer ever to bat in a Test for India.

It will make 2024 the 22nd consecutive year that Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, has played at least one Test.

“It's great to bring in someone like Jimmy, who has an incredible amount of experience,” Stokes said. “What may be under the radar is his record in India.”

Stokes, vice-captain Ollie Pope and coach Brendon McCullum took a long look at the Visakhapatnam pitch before naming the England squad on Thursday.

It is not expected to turn as much as the surface in Hyderabad, but Stokes said it is starting to dry out.

“The pitch looks drier than it did yesterday,” he said. “It's about supporting your decisions when you pick a team.

“We just felt like the way we were able to work with our own spindles was a huge boost for us.”

India will make at least two changes to its squad, having lost Ravindra Jadeja and batsman KL Rahul to injuries since the first Test.

They were already without star batsman Virat Kohli, bowler Mohammed Shami and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.

The defeat in the first Test was only India's fourth in 47 matches at home. They have not lost the first two Tests in a home series since 2000.

However, despite the seeming momentum from Hyderabad, England have memories of their last tour in 2021, when they won the first Test but then lost the last three.

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