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England received a boost as Rehan Ahmed has been given clearance to participate in the third Test against India.
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England received a boost as Rehan Ahmed has been given clearance to participate in the third Test against India.

Rehan Ahmed has been given the green light to participate in the upcoming third Test against India, set to begin on Thursday. England captain Ben Stokes expressed his confidence that the leg-spinner was not impacted by the well-publicized visa error that could have jeopardized his spot on the team.

A 19-year-old player was selected for the England team one day before the match. Stokes decided to make one substitution from the previous 106-run loss in Visakhapatnam. In preparation for a flat pitch in Rajkot, England has chosen to replace spinner Shoaib Bashir with pace bowler Mark Wood in hopes of winning the series with a 2-1 lead.

England have been lucky in this situation, as Ahmed joined the team in Rajkot on Monday after their six-day break in Abu Dhabi, but then found out his visa was not valid. He was given a temporary two-day entry by immigration officials at the airport, but was able to obtain a new visa on Wednesday morning.

If Ahmed had not been allowed to stay and had to go back to the UK, it would have affected England’s team selection. However, while the mistake has brought up concerns about the administration at the England and Wales Cricket Board, Stokes decided not to blame anyone.

Instead of pointing fingers and trying to place blame, the key is to focus on finding a solution and resolving the problem. While I’m unsure of how we got into this situation, our immediate priority was getting Rehan in and not wasting time determining who was at fault. That approach would not have been productive.

“We were highly certain that we would receive the complete visa prior to the game. It’s always a tense time, but luckily we were able to obtain it. There was never any consideration of not letting him play. One of the advantages of being young is being able to handle things with ease, and I believe he handled a potentially stressful situation exceptionally well for someone his age.”

“He has performed impressively in the Test matches he has played, meeting all of our expectations and making every effort to achieve success. I am eagerly anticipating his participation in another game this week.”

Stokes was eager to start the match, disregarding the significance of his 100th Test and receiving a new England cap before the game. He expressed his excitement for getting it over with and emphasized that while he is proud to have played in 100 Tests, it is just one more game and he hopes to play many more in the future.

Bashir, who recently made his Test debut and impressed with his performance against Rohit Sharma, will be stepping down. However, according to Stokes, he is taking it all in stride. Despite being a young player, Bashir is eager to play in every match possible. Stokes believes that there will be more chances for him in this series and is confident that he will continue to improve his skills while supporting his teammates.

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India is likely to bring back Ravindra Jadeja to play on his home turf. The all-rounder attended the pre-match press conference and expressed optimism about his recovery from a hamstring injury he sustained while being run out by Stokes on the last day of the Hyderabad match.

Jadeja may return to the team, possibly replacing Axar Patel. However, India has not announced their final XI before the toss. This will bring back his partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin, which has been ongoing for a long time. At 37 years old, Jadeja was just one wicket away from becoming the third finger spinner to reach 500 wickets in Test cricket, after Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Nathan Lyon (517).

Jadeja expressed his confidence that his teammate will reach 500 wickets at this venue. He is thrilled because they have played together for over a decade and achieving this milestone is a significant accomplishment. Initially, he believed it would happen during the first Test, but fate has determined that it will occur in Rajkot, Jadeja’s hometown.

Source: theguardian.com