IND vs ENG: Shoaib Bashir picks four wickets in 4th Test

Joe Root says he hadn’t seen much of him play

NEW DELHI: Young Shoaib Bashir was sensational on Day 2 with his off-spin. The bowler bamboozled the Indian batting lineup with his guile and revs on the ball. However, his teammate Joe Root speaking after Day’s play would reveal that he has not seen much of Bashir bowl before.
“I hadn’t seen much of him (Bashir) before this series but he is a great character and has a sense of humor, it was great to see him keep coming at the batters,” Root said after the game.
Before this series Bashir did not have much experience at the first-class level however, Ben Stokes happened to watch a clip of Bashir bowling to Alastair Cook on Twitter two months ago.
He forwarded the video to Brendon McCullum and Robert Key, and the six-first-class game old Bashir, with an astronomical average of 61, was tucked into the squad. “Abu Dhabi was the first time we had a look at him, and we were quite impressed,” Stokes would say.
Bashir was with the Rajasthan Royals Academy in Somerset, where the late Warne was there to interact with the trainees. Bashir caught his eye and took him aside for a chat. Siddartha Lahiri, head of coaching at RR Academy, remembers the exchange like it was yesterday.
“Are you a spinner or a fast bowler?” asked the former Australian leg-spinner, according to Lahiri. “Spinner,” responded Bashir.
“What do you need to do then?” the Aussie quizzed him again. It’s one of those trick questions, Bashir reckoned. “Bowl?”. Warne corrected him, “No, spin the ball. Don’t think of anything else. T20, T10, five-day, four-day, nothing. Just spin the ball.”
It was a lesson Bashir put to good use as he bowled a compact 31-over spell in Ranchi on Saturday to disable the Indian batting at a decisive juncture in the series. In Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubhman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja, he bested three Indian centurions in the series on Day 2 of the fourth Test.


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