In a recent turn of events, England’s 20-year-old off-spinner, Shoaib Bashir, made a brilliant debut in Visakhapatnam, marking his entry into Test cricket with a special scalp – none other than the formidable Rohit Sharma.
Bashir, despite a tumultuous journey to India due to visa delays, joyfully shared his feelings, stating that if someone had predicted this two years ago, he would have laughed. Receiving his Test cap was a particularly special moment, and dismissing Rohit Sharma for his first wicket added an extra layer of significance, especially considering Sharma’s prowess against spin.
“If you were to tell me that two years ago, I would laugh. It was a very special moment receiving my Test cap and for me to get Rohit Sharma as my first wicket was very, very special,” Bashir told talkSPORT.
Making his debut, Bashir bowled 28 overs on the first day, securing two wickets for 100 runs. Reflecting on this notable achievement, he expressed gratitude to God and his family, emphasising their steadfast support through the highs and lows of his journey.
“I’m just so grateful to God and my family. They’ve supported me through thick and thin. I had a lot of ups and downs in my journey, so I just want to thank them as well,” he added.
Bashir’s visa saga, causing him to arrive in India on the fourth day of the first Test in Hyderabad, added a unique twist to his debut. Despite the hurdles, he maintained a positive outlook and said that he always knew he would get the visa.
“I always knew I’d get the visa. I did have a few troubles with it, but look, we’re here now and I got to make my debut and it’s such a special day. It makes it more memorable, yeah. I had a bit of trouble, bit of hassle with it but to come out to India now and make my Test debut is unbelievable,” he added.
The offspinner commended his teammates for their tenacity on a challenging pitch, acknowledging the difficulty. He remarked that it was tough to bowl on as it didn’t offer much, but he appreciated the team’s approach, describing it as awesome to pick up six wickets on Day 1. Looking ahead to the second day, Bashir expresses hope for England, stating they aim to make a breakthrough and start batting.
“It was a tough pitch to bowl on. It didn’t offer too much, but I thought the way the boys went about it was awesome for us to pick up six wickets… we’ll get again tomorrow, hopefully, get a breakthrough and get batting out there,” he added.
He’s the one that saw me on the scene when I was playing for Somerset 2s: Bashir
During Thursday’s training, Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum informed Bashir about his inclusion in the game. On the morning of the match, Jack Leach, his Somerset teammate, handed him his Test cap. Bashir expressed the closeness between them, highlighting Leach’s role in recognising him during Somerset 2s. He mentioned Leach’s pride in his journey, making the cap presentation even more special.
“He had some nice words to say. Me and him get on really well. We’re very tight and he’s the one that saw me on the scene when I was playing for Somerset 2s. He was just talking about how proud everyone is of me, and my family and my journey. It was just so special receiving it from him as well,” he concluded.
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