England off-spinner's arrival in India delayed due to visa issues
While the England team landed in India on Sunday (January 21) ahead of Thursday's opening Test following a training camp in Abu Dhabi, they will be without their uncapped off-spinner after visa issues left him stranded in the UAE. The Somerset offspinner, whose parents are of Pakistani heritage had to stay back after a delay in his paperwork left him unable to travel with the rest of the squad. Shoaib Bashir will now be accompanied by Stuart Hooper, who recently joined the ECB as their new managing director of cricket operations.
Speaking on the developments, England head coach Brendon McCullum said on Monday (January 22) ahead of the five-Test series, "Bash will join us hopefully tomorrow, he's got a couple of issues with his visa coming through. We're confident on the back of the help from the BCCI and the Indian government that it will sort itself out pretty quickly as well."
McCullum also said that Bashir is still likely to be available for the first Test starting from January 25 in Hyderabad.
Big stars to miss India vs England Test series
England are already without Harry Brook, who pulled out of the India tour due to personal issues. However, coach McCullum has revealed that there's an outside chance that the batter might join The Three Lions squad later in the tour.
In a recent update, former India skipper Virat Kohli is set to miss the first two Tests against England due to personal reason. The BCCI confirmed this development in a statement released earlier today. This marks the second instance where Kohli has requested time off citing personal reasons; the first being his absence from the first T20I against Afghanistan in Mohali two weeks ago.
This absence is a significant setback for the Indian cricket team, given Kohli's outstanding recent form and his crucial role as an experienced player in the middle order.