IND vs ENG: England names three frontline spinners in playing XI; Tom Hartley to debut

IND vs ENG: The 24-year-old, Tom Hartley is set to make his Test debut in the series opener at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

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Courtesy: ICC

IND vs ENG: Ahead of the five-Test match series opener game against India, England announced the playing XI on Wednesday. The 24-year-old, Tom Hartley is set to make his Test debut in the series opener at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Lancashire's left-arm spinner is part of a three-pronged spin attack of England, which is to be led by another left-arm spinner Jack Leach. Mark Wood is the only pacer in the playing XI while Rehan Ahmed is the legspinner in the XI.

Lancashire's left-arm spinner has scalped 40 wickets in 20 first-class matches at a modest average of 36.57. England has included the left-arm spin due to India's Achilles heal in home Tests, who has a largely right-handed top-order. England also has an extra spinner in the XI in the form of Joe Root, who had an impressive series, in 2021 as he claimed a five-wicket haul as well. 

Why England has added just one pacer to Playing XI?

England has included three spinners in the team which means there is no place for the veteran pacer, James Anderson. Although this is not a new tactic being used by the visiting teams in the Indian sub-continent. Earlier, Australia did the same when they had Todd Murphy, Scott Kuhnemann, and Nathan Lyon in the team. The English side played three spinners on their last trip too. However, on both occasions, the visitors had a seam-bowling all-rounder in the playing XI in the form of Cameron Green and Ben Stokes.

Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett will open the England's innings, while Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, and Jonny Bairstow will be joined by Joe Root in the middle order. Surrey's Ben Foakes will keep the wickets. 

Update on Shoaib Bashir

Shoaib Bashir, the other spinner in the squad, has not received his visa, which forced the delay in his arrival to India. Earlier, he flew back to the UK from Abu Dhabi, where England's squad had been training to fight India in familiar sub-continental conditions.

England's XI for Hyderabad Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (wk), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, Jack Leach

Full schedule of IND vs ENG Tests

  • 25-29 January, First Test, Hyderabad
  • 02-06 February, Second Test, Visakhapatnam
  • 15-19 February, Third Test, Rajkot
  • 23-28 February, Fourth Test, Ranchi
  • 07-11 March, Fifth Test, Dharamsala

Full squad of IND vs ENG

India's squad for the first 2 Tests vs England: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan.

England's Test squad for India series: Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoib Bashir, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes (Wk), Dan Lawrence, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood.