England hand spinner Shoaib Bashir shock Test call-up for India series

<span>Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

Shoaib Bashir, the 20-year-old Somerset off-spinner who made his first-class debut in the summer, has been handed a maiden Test call-up for England’s tour of India in the new year.

Bashir has only 10 first-class wickets to his name but impressed as part of England’s recent training camp in the United Arab Emirates, likewise Lancashire’s Tom Hartley, a left-arm spinner, who has similarly been elevated to the Test setup.

While Jack Leach returns after missing the Ashes summer with a lower back stress fracture, the four spinners selected for the five-match series that starts in Hyderabad on 25 January underline the lack of experienced options in the domestic setup. Along with Bashir and Hartley, 24, England have recalled the 19-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed.

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Liam Dawson, who took 49 Division One wickets at 20 for Hampshire this year, was a more seasoned option but has signed up to a winter of domestic franchise cricket. Durham’s newly signed Callum Parkinson, 27, was similarly considered for a spot on the tour before being pipped by the right-arm angle of Bashir.

Elsewhere Stuart Broad’s retirement has opened a spot among the seamers, with Gus Atkinson, currently in the Caribbean with the white-ball side, earning his first Test call-up. Atkinson could serve as cover for the pace of Mark Wood, while Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson are the other seamers in the 16-player squad.

Test squad: Ben Stokes (Durham – captain), Rehan Ahmed (Leicestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gus Atkinson (Surrey), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Shoaib Bashir (Somerset), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Tom Hartley (Lancashire), Jack Leach (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire)
Mark Wood (Durham)

India v England Fixtures
1st Test: 25-29 January, Hyderabad
2nd Test: 2-6 February, Vizag
3rd Test: 15-19 February, Rajkot
4th Test: 23-27 February, Ranchi
5th Test: 7-11 March, Dharamsala

Ben Foakes returns after being dropped for Jonny Bairstow during the Ashes, while his Surrey teammate Ollie Pope, the vice-captain, is also back after missing the final three Tests of the Australia series with a dislocated shoulder.

Ben Stokes leads the side, albeit with uncertainty over his ability to play as an all-rounder at the start of the series following recent knee surgery.

Chris Woakes, England’s player of the series during the Ashes, has also been overlooked – possibly flagging the fact the 34-year-old will now be used as a home conditions specialist.