India vs England: Shoaib Bashir set to make debut as James Anderson returns for second Test in Vizag | Cricket News


England have handed a debut to off-spinner Shoaib Bashir after making two changes to their side for the second Test against India in Vizag.

The 20-year-old comes in for Somerset team-mate Jack Leach, who has been ruled out due to a bruised left knee he sustained during England’s thrilling 28-run victory in the first Test at Hyderabad on Sunday.

England’s other switch sees James Anderson, 41, replace fellow seam bowler Mark Wood for the game that starts on Friday (4am UK time).

At 41 years and 187 days on day one of the match, Anderson will become the oldest seamer to bowl in a Test in India.

England side for second Test vs India: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson.

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Ben Stokes hailed Tom Hartley after the spinner’s seven-wicket haul led England to victory over India in the first Test

Visa issues meant Bashir, who is of Pakistani heritage, 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 spinner has played just six first-class games, taking 10 wickets at an average of 67, with England captain Ben Stokes first noting Bashir’s potential when he saw a clip on social media of him bowling to former England skipper Sir Alastair Cook.

Shoaib Bashir (Getty Images)
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Bashir has taken 10 wickets in six first-class games at an average of 67

“To be perfectly honest, our training camp in Abu Dhabi was the first real live look I got at Bash,” Stokes said of Bashir, who will join Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Joe Root in England’s spin attack.

“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.”

Anderson returns after difficult Ashes series

England's James Anderson (Associated Press)
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England’s James Anderson took four wickets during the Ashes series in 2023

Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 690 scalps in 183 matches, returns to the side for the first time since last summer’s drawn Ashes series, in which he claimed just five wickets in four games at an average over 85.

The seamer – who averages a healthy 29.32 from 13 Tests in India – has been working on a new run-up, telling The Telegraph last month: “One thing that was not right was my run-up speed.

“I can’t rely on that fast twitch snap at the crease that I’ve had over the years so I’ve been working on my momentum in my run-up to get speed that way.”

Bharat: India told not to panic

India have not lost a home Test series since 2012, winning 16 in a row since a 2-1 defeat to England 12 years ago.

England won the first Test of the 2021 series, only for hosts India to fight back and secure a 3-1 success.

India's KS Bharat (Getty Images)
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India wicketkeeper KS Bharat says England deserved to win the first Test

India wicketkeeper KS Bharat said: “Credit where it’s due, England deserved to win [in Hyderabad]. But we have bounced back previously as well so we are looking forward to this next challenge.”

“After the game, the atmosphere was absolutely relaxed. They [team management] asked us not to panic. The instruction is very clear: it is a long Test series and we have to focus on good things.

“We just want to play good cricket. That’s the message from the captain and the coach.”

The hosts will be without Ravindra Jadeja (hamstring) and KL Rahul (quadriceps) for the Vizag Test, with the duo joining Virat Kohli (personal reasons) and Mohammed Shami (ankle) on the sidelines.

England Test series in India 2024

  • First Test, Hyderabad: England beat India by 28 runs
  • Second Test – February 2-6 (Vizag)
  • Third Test – February 15-19 (Rajkot)
  • Fourth Test – February 23-27 (Ranchi)
  • Fifth Test – March 7-11 (Dharamshala)

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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