Shoaib Bashir off to dream England start with Rohit Sharma’s wicket in Test debut

India vs England, second Test: 20-year-old. Shoaib Bashir did the majority of the work for England on Day 1 of the second Test, bowling 28 overs. He claimed two wickets, including that of India captain Rohit Sharma.

Shoaib Bashir's first Test wicket was Rohit Sharma
Shoaib Bashir’s first Test wicket was Rohit Sharma.( Photo Credit- Getty Images)


Shoaib Bashir, England’s debutant offspinner, praised Rohit Sharma’s dismissal for his first Test wicket in Visakhapatnam as “very, very special” – and claimed that the lengthy delay in obtaining his visa made his debut “more memorable”.

Bashir bowled 28 overs on his maiden day of Test cricket, returning figures of 2 for 100. He dismissed Rohit in his fourth over, caught at leg slip, and Axar Patel was caught at backward point in the last session, as India finished the first day of the second day at 336 for 6.

Rohit appeared unusually quiet during his 41-ball spell, ensuring India got off to a cautious start. After 10 overs, they had reached 23/0 with only two boundaries, both of which Yashasvi Jaiswal scored off Joe Root’s bowling in the second over. But, with England using James Anderson’s speedster from one end and Root’s more than useful off-spin, India were just a little wary.

“If you had told me that two years ago, I would have laughed,” Bashir told talkSPORT when asked how he became a Test cricketer at the age of 20 with only six first-class outings. “It was a very meaningful moment to receive my Test cap, and having Rohit Sharma as my maiden wicket was extremely special.

“He is also an excellent spin player. I’m extremely grateful to God and my family. They’ve helped me through thick and thin. I experienced many ups and downs in my path, so I’d want to thank them as well.”

Bashir was prepared for a lengthy shift on his debut day of Test cricket, as he faced 28 years, the longest by an England bowler on Day 1. He conceded 100 runs at 3.60 but took the crucial wickets of Rohit and Axar Patel.

Despite having significantly less red-ball experience, the off-spinner bowled precise lines and provided control to his captain. With James Anderson as the only pacemaker, Bashir did the majority of the work, never giving up when he was put under duress.

The England camp has rallied behind Bashir after noticing him troubling Alastair Cook during a County game, and the young spinner hailed Ben Stokes for putting him at ease on his first day as an England Test player.

Bashir came in India on the fourth day of the first Test in Hyderabad, following a delay in securing his visa due to his parents’ Pakistani ancestry. It meant he had to fly back to the UK following England’s training camp in Abu Dhabi.

“I always knew I’d get the visa,” he remarked. “I had a few issues with it, but hey, we’re here now, and I got to make my debut on such a memorable day. Yes, it makes it more memorable. I had a little trouble with it, but to come out to India and make my Test debut is incredible.”

“We’re very tight and he’s the one that saw me on the scene when I was playing for Somerset 2s. He was just talking about how proud everyone is of me, and my family and my journey. It was just so special receiving it from him as well.”

Reflecting on the day’s play, in which England kept pegging away despite Yashasvi Jaiswal’s brilliant display of prudence and aggression, Bashir said the tourists were pleased to pick up six wickets on a field that didn’t help the bowlers much on Day 1.

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