England hand Ansari debut and recall Finn for second Test

Zafar Ansari

Zafar Ansari has taken 122 first-class wickets at an average of 34.45

England spinner Zafar Ansari will make his Test debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Friday, with pace bowler Steven Finn replacing Stuart Broad.

Slow left-armer Ansari, 24, has been selected instead of his Surrey team-mate Gareth Batty, who took 4-116 in England’s 22-run win in the first Test.

England will play three spinners – Ansari, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

Broad has been rested for the match, so the recalled Finn joins Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes in the seam attack.

Ansari missed the chance to make his England debut in 2015 after dislocating his left thumb, and injured the thumb again in May this year.

Off-spinner Batty, 39, featured in his first Test since 2005 when he was selected for the opening game in Chittagong – setting a new world record after missing England’s 142 intervening Tests.

England will play five Tests in India after the Bangladesh series, and England captain Alastair Cook has stressed the need for squad rotation this winter.

“Clearly we had the opportunity to not rotate, but the last thing we wanted was to go to India with too many people who haven’t played much cricket,” Cook told BBC Radio 5 live.

“We don’t know a huge amount about either Batty or Ansari in terms of Test cricket, we could easily have picked them the other way round but they will get one Test each and that is important.

“In an ideal world we would have liked Jake Ball to play too but Chris Woakes needs another run-out.”

Cook also confirmed that all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson is back bowling indoors in England as he recovers from a shoulder injury but he will not be rushed back.

Anderson has already been ruled out of the first Test in India on 9 November and is a doubt for the second, which starts eight days later.

England XI for second Test in Bangladesh: Alastair Cook (capt), Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Zafar Ansari, Steven Finn.


Finn has played in eight of England’s 10 Tests in 2016

Bairstow welcomes Ansari call-up

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow welcomed Ansari’s elevation to the side.

Speaking before the line-up was confirmed, Bairstow told BBC Sport: “The pace that he bowls and the control that he has can only be a positive thing for us.

“The bite that he’ll get out of the wicket being a left-arm orthodox bowler – it’s a good asset for us.”

Bairstow broke the record for the most runs scored by a wicketkeeper in a calendar year during the first Test, surpassing Zimbabwean Andy Flower’s tally of 1,045 in 2000 – taking his current total to 1,091, with six more Tests still to play in 2016.

The Yorkshire right-hander said: “It’s not sunk in yet. It’s something that won’t sink in until after the year’s gone out.

“There’s so much cricket still to be played this year. But I’m absolutely delighted to have scored so many runs this year and hopefully it can continue.”

Bairstow, who has been batting at seven, praised the depth of the England squad, saying he is just “happy to be in the side”.

“It’s great to be surrounded by such great players,” he added. “If you look at myself, Woakes, Rashid – within those three guys you’ve got something like 40 first-class hundreds coming in at seven, eight and nine.

“That’s a great place to be, with the strength and depth we’re showing with our batting line-up.”

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