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'I just saw something': Latest Bazball bolter as young spinner overcomes visa farce to be named for Test debut

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1st February, 2024
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Shoaib Bashir will make his international debut in England’s second Test against India after fellow Somerset spinner Jack Leach was ruled out through injury.

Record wicket-taker James Anderson also comes into the side for Friday’s second Test in Visakhapatnam.

Anderson replaces Mark Wood as England look to build on their brilliant 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.

Leach’s absence means England’s three specialist spinners have just three caps between them, with two for Rehan Ahmed and one for Tom Hartley.

Shoaib Bashir.

Shoaib Bashir has been named to debut for England in the second Test against India. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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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 appearance for county side Somerset. 

“To be perfectly honest, our training camp in Abu Dhabi was the first real live look I got at ‘Bash’,” 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.”

© AAP

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