Shoaib Bashir’s Captivating Spell Earns Praise from Ben Stokes

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In a captivating turn of events, England announced their playing XI for the second Test against India, introducing two changes to the lineup. James Anderson replaces Mark Wood, and the injured Jack Leach makes way for the debutant spinner, Shoaib Bashir, in the upcoming match starting on February 2 in Vizag. Bashir, who faced visa delays and couldn’t make it for the first Test, has left a lasting impression on England captain Ben Stokes, who became an instant fan after witnessing a remarkable spell posted on Twitter.

Bashir’s First Class debut showcased an impressive bowling display against former England captain Alastair Cook while playing for Somerset against Essex.

Stokes expressed his initial encounter with Bashir, stating:

To be perfectly honest, Abu Dhabi was the first real live look I got at Bash. The first time I saw him was on Twitter. I think the County Championship [account] put a little clip together of him bowling against Sir Alastair.

Even though Bashir secured only one wicket on his debut, Stokes recognized the 20-year-old’s potential contribution with his off-spin during the India tour.

I’m in a WhatsApp group with Keysy (Rob Key) and Baz (Brendon McCullum). I actually did forward the clip and said, ‘have a look at this, this could be something we could work with on our India tour,’ and it just progressed from there. He got selected on the Lions tour, and obviously, the coaches on that tour fed everything back to us,

Stokes added.

The viral spell that caught Stokes’ attention can be watched here:

In a reminiscent performance, another spinner, Tom Hartley, showcased brilliance on his debut, contributing significantly to England’s 28-run victory last Sunday. Hartley’s seven-wicket haul in the second innings led to India being bundled out for 202 in pursuit of 231.

England’s playing XI for the 2nd Test match against India includes:

1. Zak Crawley

2. Ben Duckett

3. Ollie Pope

4. Joe Root

5. Jonny Bairstow

6. Ben Stokes (Captain)

7. Ben Foakes

8. Rehan Ahmed

9. Tom Hartley

10. Shoaib Bashir

11. James Anderson

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