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Other SportsBashir called up for England tour of India

Bashir called up for England tour of India

Uncapped Shoaib Bashir was one of four spinners named today in the England squad for the five-Test series in India in the new year.

The 20-year-old Somerset bowler has only played six first-class matches but impressed the England hierarchy on the recent Lions training camp in the UAE.

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He was joined in the party by Rehan Ahmed, fellow newcomer Tom Hartley and the returning Jack Leach with England loading the squad with spinners on what are expected to be slow, turning wickets.

Gus Atkinson was the third uncapped member of the squad and forms a pace attack alongside James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood.

The squad is captained by Ben Stokes who is expected to be fit after undergoing knee surgery following the World Cup.

England’s director of cricket Rob Key is excited at what Bashir can bring to the table.

He told Cricinfo: “I think we focus more on what style of cricket we want to play and what do we think is going to go out there and win.

“It’s about ‘what is someone’s upside?’ It’s very hard, especially for spinners in English cricket, to judge them on their numbers as such. You’re not going to expect your spinner to average 24 with the ball in county cricket, you’re trying to see something else and back their character.

“You want to see how the ball comes out of their hand – you’re going more to the art of selection, rather than the science of selection – and you back that environment that Stokes and [coach Brendon] McCullum have created with all the other players, to get the best out of these people.

“With Stokesy’s captaincy in particular, your bet is often that he’ll be the one who can get something out of these players. You just want to create an environment where you think they can thrive, which is no mean feat when you’re talking about a Test tour of India.”

The first Test gets underway in Hyderabad on January 25.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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