Second Test: England Announce Squad Against India

With leading spinner Jack Leach injured, England have decided to hand a debut to 20-year-old Somerset spinner Shoaib Bashir.

Second Test: England Announce Squad Against India

England has unveiled their playing XI for the second Test against India, which begins on February 2 at Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.

With star spinner Jack Leach out injured, England have opted to give 20-year-old Somerset spinner Shoaib Bashir his debut after a visa delay. Aside from him, veteran James Anderson has been summoned to the final XI. Anderson will replace express pacer Mark Wood, who played in the first Test.

Leach was always uncertain for the second Test after suffering a knee injury in the first Test in Hyderabad. He also did not attend the team's practice session on Wednesday (January 31). Leach strained his knee on day one of the first Test and played a little role in England's dramatic victory that followed. Despite the injury, he batted effectively and took Shreyas Iyer's wicket in the second innings.

England are aiming to take a 2-0 lead in the series after winning the opening Test by 28 runs. Notably, India lost to England in Tests for the first time despite leading by 190 runs in the first innings. Ollie Pope struck a superb 196, while rookie spinner Tom Hartley claimed seven wickets in the second innings as India were bowled out for 202, chasing a total of 231.

In the present series, the Indian spinners have 14 wickets, with Ashwin claiming six, Jadeja five, and Axar three. England's Hartley and part-time spinner Joe Root have only 14 wickets between them, while Jack Leach and Rehan Ahmed have four each.

If the pattern continues, England will have a better chance of defeating India at home in a Test series, a feat last accomplished by England in 2012, when they won the four-match series 2-1.

England playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Ben Foakes (wk), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, and James Anderson.