England has announced its playing XI for the second Test against India in Visakhapatnam, with a couple of key changes from their victorious lineup in the first Test. The visitors, currently leading the five-match series 1-0, will miss spinner Jack Leach due to a knee injury. In his place, the uncapped off-spinner Shoaib Bashir has been included.
Shoaib Bashir, who faced visa issues due to his Pakistani roots, joined the squad after the first Test and is set to make his international debut. England has also opted for the experienced James Anderson, who replaces Mark Wood in the playing XI.
Mark Wood, the only frontline pacer in the first Test, has been given a break, and Anderson, with 690 Test wickets, is eyeing entry into the coveted 700-club. The spotlight will be on Shoaib Bashir as he steps into the shoes of Jack Leach, a regular in England’s spin department.
The 20-year-old off-spinner will face the challenging task of contributing significantly to England’s bowling attack. The first Test saw a remarkable comeback from England after trailing by 190 runs in the first innings. Ollie Pope played a pivotal role with his splendid 196 in the second innings, setting up a challenging target for India.
With the series lead, England is in a positive frame of mind going into the second Test. On the other hand, India faces challenges with the absence of experienced players KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries. The younger members of the team, including Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer, will need to step up to level the series.
As both teams gear up for the second Test at the Dr. Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, the focus will be on how the changes in England’s lineup and India’s young brigade impact the outcome of the match.
England’s Playing XI for second Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (WK), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson