England have handed a debut to spinner Shoaib Bashir after making two changes to their side for the second Test vs India.
James Anderson also returns in place fellow seamer Mark Wood while Bashir replaces the injured Jack Leach who was ruled out of the game in Vizag with a knee injury sustained in England’s thrilling 28-run first Test victory in Hyderabad.
Visa issues meant Bashir racked up 10,000 unwanted air miles shuttling between Abu Dhabi, London and Hyderabad, where he arrived just in time to take in the final day of England’s win.
The 20-year-old has taken just 10 first-class wickets in six games at an average of 67, while Leach’s absence means England’s three specialist spinners have three caps between them, with two for Rehan Ahmed and one for Tom Hartley.
England captain Ben Stokes first floated the possibility of Bashir featuring on the tour of India six months ago after watching a video montage of him bowling to Sir Alastair Cook on his first Somerset appearance.
“To be perfectly honest, our training camp in Abu Dhabi was the first real live look I got at Bash (Bashir),” Stokes admitted.
“The first time I saw him was on Twitter. I think the County Championship put a little clip together of him bowling against Sir Alastair.
“I just saw something. With the height he bowled from, it was very obvious that he put a lot of action, a lot of revolutions, on the ball.”
England side for second Test vs India: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson.
India vs England fixtures
- First Test, Hyderabad: England beat India by 28 runs
- Second Test, Visakhapatnam: Friday February 2 – Tuesday February 6
- Third Test, Rajkot: Thursday February 15 – Monday February 19
- Fourth Test, Ranchi: Friday February 23 – Tuesday February 27
- Fifth Test, Dharamshala: Thursday March 7 – Monday March 11
Follow over-by-over text commentary from the second Test between India and England, in Vizag, live on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App from 3.30am on Friday (first ball at 4am).
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