Shoaib Bashir hails Ben Stokes leadership after ‘special’ England debut

Shoaib Bashir picked up two wickets on debut (Picture: Getty)

England debutant Shoaib Bashir hailed the leadership of captain Ben Stokes after the spinner took two wickets on day one of the second Test against India.

Bashir, who was fast-tracked into the England side after just six first-class appearances, has faced a rollercoaster tour so far after being ruled out of the first Test due to visa complications.

But the 20-year-old came into the side in Visakhapatnam – replacing the injured Jack Leach – and made his mark straight away as England fought back well with late wickets to leave India 336-3 at close.

The Somerset spinner bowled more overs than anyone else on day one, claiming the scalps of Indian captain Rohit Sharma and Axar Patel, and was left emotional after his performance.

‘I’ve had a lot of ups and downs but to have made my debut here is very special,’ he said speaking to TNT Sports. ‘It’s something you dream of as a kid and I’m just so grateful.’

When asked about the wicket of Rohit, he added: ‘That was my highlight. He’s such a good player of spin so to get his wicket as my first is awesome.’

Bashir’s performance on day one has, once again, vindicated England’s decision to venture left field with their selections.

Shoaib Bashir of England speaks with captain Ben Stokes during day one of the 2nd Test Match between India and England

Shoaib Bashir was full of praise for Ben Stokes’ leadership (Picture: Getty)

Tom Hartley shone on debut with his winning display in the first Test and Bashir was full of praise for the role that captain Stokes and the rest of the squad have played in his start to international cricket.

‘In the pre-match huddle he just told me to go out there and enjoy it; remember why you started playing the game and you’ve got nothing to lose. That gave me so much confidence going in,’ Bashir revealed.

‘I’ve been around the guys for a while now in Abu Dhabi – they’ve been so welcoming and so supportive and that brings the best out of you.’

The late wickets of Patel and Srikar Bharat saw England wrestle back some of the momentum heading into day two, with Bashir confident that his teammates can roll their confident end to day one into a fast start tomorrow morning.

‘It was a tough pitch to bowl on; it didn’t offer us much,’ he ended. ‘I thought the way the boys went about it was awesome.

‘For us to pick up six wickets is massive and it’s a good position to be in going into tomorrow.’

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