Young right-arm spinner Shoaib Bashir has joined the group england national team in Hyderabad, currently engaged in Day 4 of the first of a 5-match Test series against India. Bashir could not reach India on time with his English teammates and coaching staff due to some issues related to his visa approval by the Indian authorities.
Shoaib Bashir was asked to wait some time for his visa to be approved and therefore stayed in Abu Dhabi for an extended period along with an official from the English contingent. Coach Brendon McCullum had spoken to the media a day after the incident occurred and stated that they had received assurances from the BCCI that it is working with the Indian government for Bashir’s visa.
However, days passed and Bashir was still unable to reach India and join the team before flying back to England, which was pure frustration. England captain Ben Stokes also expressed concern over the matter, saying: “When I first heard the news in Abu Dhabi, I said we shouldn’t fly until Bash got his visa. But that was a bit ironic. I know it’s something much bigger than doing that. “I’m pretty devastated that Bash had to go through this.”
A British government official had also criticized the Indian government for allegedly treating English citizens residing in Pakistan unfairly. “We absolutely expect India to treat British citizens fairly at all times during their visa process. We have previously raised the issues of British citizens with Pakistani heritage background applying for visas with the Indian High Commission in London.”
It is to be noted that the leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, who is one of the 3 recognized players in England playing in the XI for the 1st Test, also has his origins in Pakistan, and if there was any kind of bias towards the players based in Pakistan, then The Indian government would also have denied Rehan’s visa application.
Nonetheless, Shoaib Bashir joined the team at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on the 4th. England are currently trying to defend a total of 231 that was created due to the emphatic knock of number 3 batsman Ollie Pope, who hit a 278-ball 196 runs hit.
If not for their extraordinary efforts, England would have been left out with less than 200 and would have made the job much easier for the Indian contingent.
With Jack Leach in doubt for the second Test, will England back Shoaib Bashir to start in Vishakhapatnam?
England raised eyebrows when they named just one pacer in the starting 11 for the first Test, choosing Mark Wood to start ahead of James Anderson. In terms of spinners, England relied on Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley, while Joe Root acted as off-spinner.
However, Leach bowls limitedly in the fourth innings due to thigh swelling. He has major doubts about starting in the second Test and that could open the door for Shoaib Bashir to start in Vishakhapatnam.