Former England captain Michael Atherton has praised player Shoaib Bashir for his “nervous” performance on debut. After missing the first Test due to a visa issue, the young spinner got a chance to play in the ongoing second Test in Vishakhapatnam.
While England were unlikely to alter the winning combination, they were forced to make changes to the team after a knee injury ruled Jack Leach out of the game. Leach was replaced by Shoaib Bashir and the youngster practically justified the faith shown in him by the team management.
He gave England the first breakthrough by dismissing India captain Rohit Sharma for just 14 runs. Later in the game, Shoaib Bashir also dismissed Axar Patel. And his performance made a big impression on Michael Atherton.
Michael Atherton praises Shoaib Bashir:
Speaking to Sky Sports, Michael Atherton praised Shoaib Bashir’s attitude on his debut and said the player seemed “completely unfazed”. The former cricketer-turned-commentator also claimed that the youngster showed the temperament needed for red-ball cricket.
“For him to bowl like he did today, 28 overs, I think he looked completely unfazed. He threw accurately every time. And to be honest, there’s not much on the field for him or anyone else,” Atherton said.
“He bounces a lot due to his height and the excess spin he gives to the ball. Obviously the highlight for him was when he took out Rohit Sharma.”
“It is a huge wicket because the Indian batting line-up is actually quite inexperienced for them. Shoaib caught him early on, took a late wicket and got a catch too, so it couldn’t have gone better. The most important thing is that today he demonstrated that he has the right temperament for the occasion; A fantastic day for him,” he added.
Talking about the game, India posted 396 runs in their first innings. Opening batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal starred with the bat for the hosts, playing a sublime knock of 209 runs. No other Indian player could score a fifty in the innings, with Shubman Gill (34) and debutant Rajat Patidar (32) being the only other players to reach the 30-run mark.
In reply, England were 81 for 1 after 16 overs at the time of writing. The tourists are currently leading the five-match series after winning the first Test by 28 runs in Hyderabad.