'We won't be afraid' - England could adopt radical approach in second Test against India after miracle win

'We won't be afraid' - England could adopt radical approach in second Test against India after miracle win

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as England prepare for the second Test

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 30/01/2024

- 14:48

England will head into the second Test with a 1-0 lead over India

England coach Brendon McCullum has revealed that he is prepared to take a radical approach if needed during the Test series against India.

McCullum says he could field an all-spin attack in the second Test, with Shoaib Bashir now in contention to make his debut.

England pulled off a miraculous victory in the first match in Hyderabad, with Ollie Pope's 196 and Tom Hartley's 7-62 spearheading the comeback.

Attention now turns to Visakhapatnam on Friday, a venue that will be hosting just its third Test.

Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum says England could pick an all-spin attack against India


Spin trio Hartley, Jack Leach and Rehan Ahmed were all picked for the opener, while Joe Root also got through 48 overs with his off-spin.

Mark Wood was the lone seamer in the attack but he went wicketless in Hyderabad.

Bashir is now in India after he was initially told he could not enter the country due to a delay to his visa.

The 20-year-old could make his debut on Friday, while England will monitor the knee injury suffered by Jack Leach last week.

James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and the uncapped Gus Atkinson are all vying for a spot in the XI.

England have picked an all-seam attack on many occasions on home territory but McCullum has confirmed he wouldn't be afraid to just play his spinners.

He told SENZ radio: "Bash, he was obviously with us during our camp in Abu Dhabi and he really impressed with his skillset.

"He fitted in seamlessly within the group and he's a guy who's got an immense amount of enthusiasm, albeit at a young age and pretty limited in his first-class experience.

"Like Tom Hartley, he was a guy who we looked at and we thought he's got some skills which could assist us in these conditions.

"The visa situation, that's just life, right? Sometimes that happens and everyone was doing everything that they could to try and resolve the situation. There's just some red tape you've got to cut through at times.

"When he arrived, boys gave him a huge cheer and he got to witness something pretty special with the fellas bowling us to a Test win.

"He comes into calculations for the next Test match. If the wickets continue to spin as much as what we saw in the first Test as the series goes on, look, we won't be afraid to play all spinners, or a balance of what we've got."


Shoaib Bashir

Shoaib Bashir is in contention to make his Test debut against India


Hartley was taught a harsh lesson in the first innings on debut, as he was hit for a six off his first ball and went at over five an over.

But he came back admirably and bowled his team to victory with a superb spell of bowling second time around.

McCullum has praised how captain Ben Stokes showed faith in the Lancashire star.

He added: "He's only played a handful of first-class games and was probably a bit of a punt, selection-wise.

"But we saw something in him that we thought would work over there and he's a tough character.

England beat India

Tom Hartley spun England to victory in the first Test against India


"The way that the skipper handled him was quite remarkable and he obviously brought us to a Test win… I thought that was a real sign of leadership.

"It was a clear message to not just Tom, but those that are around the squad, that when we talk about freedom, taking the game on and trying to come in and make a difference, you're not going to be cast aside or taken off the crease from the first sign of danger.

"I thought it was a magnificent decision by the skipper to do that. And I think it allowed Tom to feel like he belonged and he knew what his role was.

"It came up trumps in the end, but you've got to have a bit of a punt sometimes. And this one came off."

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