Ahead of the second Test against India, starting on February 2, the Three Lions have announced their playing XI. The match will be played in Vizag. The visitors are leading the series by 1-0 as they won the first Test by 28 runs. Meanwhile, ahead of the game, left-arm spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the second Test due to a knee injury.
“He’s ruled out of the second Test,” Stokes said at a press conference. “Hopefully, it does not keep him out for longer in the series.”
He has been replaced by Shoaib Bashir, who missed the first game due to visa issues. Bashir was watching the first Test from the sidelines.
“When it came to selection of the squad, there wasn’t too much thought around him because everyone was very, very impressed with what Bash (Bashir) showed,” Stokes added. “Everything we wanted in our spin group was answered by Bashir.”
"If he was to play on this tour, then the great thing he has on his side is, what is there to lose?" Stokes said.
"That is how I will be thinking about it, if he gets the chance to play: just to make sure I can give him the best experience I possibly can. Because you only play your first Test match once. If he does play, then I will be trying to make it as enjoyable and fun for him as I can," Stokes said.
On the other hand, James Anderson has replaced Mark Wood, who played in the first Test. The rest of the team is the same that played in Hyderabad
"Jimmy's experience, the class that he has, is great and I think it also goes under the radar how good his record in India is," Stokes said. "Considering what Jimmy is going for - 'the swing king' and all that - it just proves how good a bowler he is. He has different skillsets that I will be able to exploit in Indian conditions.
England Playing XI 2nd Test
1. Zak Crawley
2. Ben Duckett
3. Ollie Pope
4. Joe Root
5. Jonny Bairstow
6. Ben Stokes (C)
7. Ben Foakes (wk)
8. Rehan Ahmed
9. Tom Hartley
10. Shoaib Bashir
11. James Anderson