Bashir to make Test debut as England hunt 2-0 series lead over India
Shoaib Bashir will make his Test debut as England aim to back up last week's Hyderabad heroics with another win in India.
Ben Stokes' side clinched a thrilling opening contest, smashing records as they recovered from a 190-run first-innings deficit to claim victory.
And they have announced two changes to their side for the next clash in Visakhapatnam, starting tomorrow, with Bashir stepping in for the injured Jack Leach and 41-year-old seamer James Anderson replacing Mark Wood.
Stokes — who revealed he first became aware of Bashir when the County Championship posted social media clips of his bowling last summer — is excited to see what the 20-year-old can do.
He said: "I'm fully backing him [Bashir] and looking forward to him hopefully putting on a show.
"He possesses that natural ability, where he releases the ball from and how much energy he tries to put on the ball.
"Someone releasing the ball from height and putting that much on the ball is going to get that natural variation.
"That is very hard to play against out here. Some balls will spin, some will skid on."
Bashir has played just six first-class matches and joins Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed in a spin attack that boasts three caps between them, although Joe Root is also expected to feature heavily with the ball.
In contrast, Anderson — who had played seven Test matches before Bashir was even born — will line up in England whites for the 22nd consecutive year.
The Lancastrian has taken 34 scalps in 13 career red-ball outings in India and Stokes is delighted to welcome the country's all-time leading wicket-taker back into the fold.
He said: "It's great to bring in someone like Jimmy, who has an unbelievable amount of experience.
"What maybe goes under the radar is his record out in India."
The tourists will sense an opportunity considering injuries to India batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja — as well as the continued absence of talisman Virat Kohli — mean the hosts will be some way short of their strongest XI.
But wicket-keeper Srikar Bharat remains confident they can level the series.
He said: "Credit where it's due, they [England] deserved to win [in Hyderabad].
"But we have bounced back previously so we're looking forward to this next challenge."