"Not afraid to..." - England planning surprise for India in second Test
After securing an emphatic win in the series opener at Hyderabad, England head coach Brendon McCullum has warned that they are not 'afraid' to be daring in a bid to keep the winning momentum going. Playing on a turning track, the Three Lions surprised everyone when they opted to play three spinners and just a solitary pacer. Despite, two of the three spinners having a combined experience of just one Test between them before the match, they came out on top against an experienced Indian batting lineup.
During England's previous Test series in India in 2021, they won the first match in Chennai. Subsequently, the pitches for the remaining matches displayed a significant affinity for spin. Should a similar scenario play out during the current series, England is prepared to effectively counteract.
In addition to the three spinners who participated in the first Test, uncapped spinner Shoaib Bashir has also joined the England squad after missing the opener. Unfortunately, Bashir encountered visa issues, leading to a delay in his arrival in India.
Brendon McCullum shares insights into plans for the Vizag Test
McCullum mentioned that if the pitch for the second Vizag Test indicates a likelihood of turn compared to the one in Hyderabad, Bashir might be considered as a valuable option to the team.
McCullum revealed while speaking to SENZ Radio, “He (Bashir) was obviously with us in the camp in Abu Dhabi and he really impressed with his skill sets. He fits in the group. He, again, like Tom Hartley, has little first-class experience, but we thought his skill could help us in here. He turned up at a perfect time, really (in Hyderabad). When he arrived, the guys gave him a huge cheer and he got to witness something pretty special with the fellas bowling us to a Test win. Look, he comes into calculations for the next Test match."
He added, “If the wickets continue to spin as much as what we saw in the first Test as the series goes on, we won’t be afraid to play all spinners or a balance of what we’ve got.”