VISAKHAPATNAM: Spinner Shoaib Bashir will make his Test debut in the second match against India on Friday while James Anderson will replace Mark Wood as England’s lone fast bowler, the tourists said on the eve of the match.

Off-spinner Bashir arrived late in India following a visa delay before joining the squad in Hyderabad, where the tourists registered one of their greatest away wins to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

The 20-year-old replaced Somerset team mate Jack Leach, who hurt his left knee while fielding in Hyderabad, the team said in a statement.

Spinners Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley retained their places in England’s spin-heavy attack with Joe Root as a potent part-time option.

India are without all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batter KL Rahul, both of whom suffered injuries in Hyderabad, while batting stalwart Virat Kohli has decided to skip the first two Tests for personal reasons. Wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat, however, was confident they could level the series in Visakhapatnam.

“Credit where it’s due, they deserved to win (in Hyderabad),” the stumper told reporters on Thursday.

“But we have bounced back previously as well so yeah, looking forward to this next challenge.” India squandered a first-innings lead of 190 in Hyderabad letting England off the hook.

India have not lost a Test series on home soil since 2012 and Bharat said they were not panicking yet. “After the game, the atmosphere was absolutely relaxed. They (team management) asked us not to panic.

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“The instruction is very clear, that it’s a long Test series and we … have to focus on good things.

“Things that we want to try and implement. We just want to play good cricket. That’s the message from the captain and the coach,” Bharat added.


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