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England considering using an all-spin attack with Bashir in the mix for the second Test against India.
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England considering using an all-spin attack with Bashir in the mix for the second Test against India.

On Tuesday, England arrived on the lush east coast of India with their coach, Brendon McCullum, announcing that Shoaib Bashir is being considered for a potential Test debut this week. McCullum also stated that using an all-spin attack is a possibility.

Bashir, who is 20 years old, experienced a delay in entering India due to visa issues. However, he finally arrived on Sunday to witness England’s 1-0 series lead. Unfortunately, the victory in Hyderabad resulted in one injury. Jack Leach injured his left knee and now has a limited time to recover before the second Test on Friday.

During our camp in Abu Dhabi, Bash was with us and his skillset truly impressed us,” McCullum shared on SENZ radio in New Zealand. “He seamlessly integrated into the group and his enthusiasm is unmatched, despite his young age and limited first-class experience [six matches].”

Upon his arrival, the boys greeted him with a loud cheer and he was able to witness something truly remarkable. He is now being considered for the next Test match. If the wickets continue to have as much spin as we saw in the first Test, we won’t hesitate to play all spinners or a mix of our current players.

England has no hesitation in putting Bashir into the game. The achievement of newcomer Tom Hartley, who took nine wickets in his debut match, is a proud moment for Ben Stokes. This comes after India’s openers took advantage of Stokes’ first spell.

McCullum praised the display of leadership, stating that it sent a strong message not only to Tom, but also to the rest of the team. He emphasized the importance of playing with freedom and taking risks in order to make a positive impact on the game, without fear of being dismissed at the first sign of trouble.

“Let’s not overlook the fact that Nathan Lyon, who had only played a few first-class games and had an average of around 40, was selected to play for Australia. However, he has since had a successful career.”

“When you come across individuals whom you deem capable and suitable for the situation, it’s like choosing the right horse for the right course. You must trust your own judgement.”

No one can predict a debut performance of seven wickets for 60 runs, or a total of nine wickets for the match, or scoring 60 runs with a run-out and catch. However, there are times when you must take a risk with your choices. If you admire a player’s qualities and believe they are well-suited for the situation, it becomes a calculated gamble.

Bringing Ben Foakes back to the initial lineup proved to be yet another triumph, as the wicketkeeper contributed crucial runs in the second innings and executed two stumpings to secure the victory on Sunday.

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Ben Foakes stumps India’s Mohammed Siraj off Tom Hartley’s bowling for the final wicket of England’s victory in the first Test in Hyderabad on SundayView image in fullscreen

Foakes stated that the last time they were at this location, the final three Tests had the worst pitches he has ever batted on. He recalls going into it with the mindset that the pitches were terrible and he just needed to find a way to stay in. However, now the group’s mentality is more focused on being positive despite the challenging pitches.

“You must return the pressure to the bowler and make them feel the heat. It requires a change in mindset to approach it differently because in spinning conditions, the bowler has a significant advantage in winning the competition. It’s about how many hits you can deliver. Previously, there was a fear of getting out which caused us to play defensively.”

Foakes was pleased to return to his position as wicket-keeper following Jonny Bairstow’s recovery from an ankle injury. In addition, Harry Brook’s rise during the previous winter resulted in Foakes being excluded from the Ashes last summer. This ongoing pattern of selectors going back and forth has been happening for the 30-year-old since his debut in Sri Lanka in 2018.

Foakes mentioned that he struggled during last summer, but he wasn’t surprised by the challenges. He admitted that it’s hard for him to stay focused and push through when faced with difficult situations. He shared an example of a time when he was playing for Surrey at Lord’s and had to wait to bat while watching Jonny get injured on TV during a Test match. This type of situation is what makes it difficult for Foakes.

Foakes previously had concerns that he may have reached the end of his Test career after being removed from the team in the past. However, he now feels more content, especially since receiving a central contract from England, which has helped ease the situation. While he seems to have a secure spot on this tour, if Brook comes back from dealing with a personal matter that caused him to leave, the situation may shift once again.

Source: theguardian.com