IND vs ENG: Getting Rohit Sharma as my First Wicket is Incredible – Shoaib Bashir


Shoaib Bashir celebrating wicket with Ollie Pope (AP Image)

Shoaib Bashir celebrating wicket with Ollie Pope (AP Image)

Bashir, who played only six first-class games before getting his big break, was England’s best spinner on the opening day, returned figures of two for 100 in 28 overs.

The “slight hassle” caused by a visa delay for the India tour is very much a thing of the past for 20-year-old England debutant Shoaib Bashir, who is chuffed about Rohit Sharma being his first Test wicket.

Bashir, who is of Pakistan heritage, could not travel with the England squad to Hyderabad from Abu Dhabi for the series opener due to a visa delay. He joined the team in the middle of the Hyderabad Test before witnessing a special win.

On Friday, the 6’4 tall off-spinner showed what he was capable of and why skipper Ben Stokes picked him in the squad after watching a video clip of his bowling on social media.

Bashir, who played only six first-class games before getting his big break, was England’s best spinner on the opening day, returned figures of two for 100 in 28 overs. He also bowled the most number of overs on the day.

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“It’s been a very special, special day. For all that I’ve been through in the last two to three years, it made it even more special. To get Rohit Sharma out, my first wicket, feels incredible.

“He’s a quality player, one of the best in the world and a great player of spin as well,” said Bashir after close of play.

Bashir had to fly back to England from Abu Dhabi to get his visa sorted before taking the flight to India. Stokes said he was devastated and even contemplated staying back in Abu Dhabi until the issue was sorted but Bashir stated he was always sure about getting the visa.

“No doubts at all, I always knew I would get the visa. It was a bit of a hassle but we’re here now, I’ve made my debut, and that’s all that matters. I was pretty chilled to be fair. I knew it would get sorted so thanks to ECB and BCCI for sorting out quite quickly,” he said.

Being that tall does have its advantages, one being the ability to generate extra bounce.

“(Growing up) Always been above average height, 6ft 4in does help with the spin I guess,” he said on a lighter note.

Former England captain Alastair Cook has been left impressed with Bashir’s control at such a young age but the spinner himself feels he could have been more accurate on his first day in Test cricket.

“I could have been a bit more consistent with my lines but I’m just going to look back on this day and think getting Rohit Sharma out, I think that’s all that matters really,” he said.

Besides Stokes, he is also glad to pick brains of veterans James Anderson and Joe Root in the England setup.

“Jimmy is cap 613, I’m cap 713 so there’s a hundred caps between us. He’s an incredible lad, the experience is crazy and having Rooty out there helps a lot as well.”

England picked up three wickets in the final session to pick up some momentum going into day two.

“I think we did well to get them six down towards the end of the day. Looking ahead we’ll want to get a couple of early breakthroughs (and) then get batting,” added Bashir.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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