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Something old, something new – Anderson and Bashir strike for England

India reached 103 for two at lunch as the 20-year-old spinner claimed the scalp of captain Rohit Sharma.

Rory Dollard
Friday 02 February 2024 07:04 GMT
Shoaib Bashir opened his Test account on day one in Visakhapatnam (Manish Swarup/AP)
Shoaib Bashir opened his Test account on day one in Visakhapatnam (Manish Swarup/AP) (AP)

Shoaib Bashir made a memorable start to his England career, dismissing India captain Rohit Sharma on the first morning of the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

The 20-year-old off-spinner only arrived in the country six days ago, his visa application held up due to his Pakistani heritage, but was handed a debut in place of the injured Jack Leach.

Bashir claimed the first wicket of the morning session when Sharma flicked a catch to Ollie Pope, roaring in excitement and clenching both fists in celebration.

But it was hard work for the tourists after losing the toss on a good batting pitch, with India reaching 103 for two after James Anderson removed Shubman Gill just before lunch.

Yashavi Jaiswal led the way with 51 not out, biding his time and picking off bad balls as he collected six fours and a six.

Anderson, recalled in place of Mark Wood as the solitary seamer, kicked things off after Ben Stokes lost the toss and allowed just six runs from his first five overs.

The 41-year-old, who made his Test debut five months before Bashir was born, beat the bat a couple of times but the early signs suggested a flat track.

Joe Root shared the new ball but was unable to make his match-up with the left-handed Jaiswal pay off and soon made way for Bashir. The newcomer came to the crease with just 10 first-class wickets to his name across six matches, but quickly settled into a groove.

After three tidy overs he struck midway through his fourth, Sharma following a drifting ball and turning it to leg-slip after an unusually quiet 14 from 41 deliveries. Bashir’s team-mates thronged as he took in the moment, but with Jaiswal settling to his task there was plenty still to do.

Tom Hartley, England’s seven-wicket hero in Hyderabad, started steadily but was unable to create a chance and began to over-pitch as he searched for a breakthrough. Bashir held an end for 10 straight overs, erring only when he sent down a full toss which Jaiswal flogged for six.

Anderson got his side back into the fight in his second spell, taking Gill’s outside edge for 34 as Ben Foakes dived in front of slip to take the catch.

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