Ben Stokes Addresses Potential Debut for Shoaib Bashir in 2nd Test: A Philosophical Approach

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As the second Test of the series against India in Visakhapatnam looms, England skipper Ben Stokes is contemplating the inclusion of young spinner Shoaib Bashir in the playing XI. Bashir, who missed the opportunity to debut in the series opener due to a visa issue, is now on the radar for the upcoming match, especially with Jack Leach ruled out due to injury.

In response to queries about Bashir’s potential debut, Stokes remained philosophical, stating, “If he was to play on this tour, then the great thing he has on his side is, what is there to lose?” The England captain emphasized the importance of creating a positive experience for Bashir if he is given the chance to play, acknowledging the uniqueness of a player’s first Test match.

Stokes provided insights into the unfortunate injury suffered by Jack Leach, describing it as a “big shame” for the team and Leach, who has been recovering from a back issue.

While Stokes did not confirm Bashir’s place in the playing XI, he hinted at the possibility, saying, “Bash is in the squad; we haven’t brought him here to have an experience. If we feel we want to turn to him, we will.”

Stokes, along with vice-captain Ollie Pope and head coach Brendon McCullum, assessed the Vizag pitch to determine the team’s spin-bowling strategy for the upcoming match. With reports suggesting favorable conditions for spinners, the inclusion of Bashir could be a strategic move by England.

As the team weighs its options, Stokes remains open to the prospect of introducing Bashir to the Test arena, aiming to make the experience enjoyable and memorable for the young spinner. The decision on the playing XI, particularly Bashir’s inclusion, will likely be influenced by the conditions on the Vizag pitch and the team’s strategic considerations.

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