4th Test: Shoaib Bashir has bright future to be a good Test spinner, says Steven Finn

February 26, 2024
Shoaib Bashir has got a bright future to be a good spinner in Test cricket, following his first five-wicket haul in the format.

Ranchi, Feb 26 (IANS) Former England fast-bowler Steven Finn believes off-spinner Shoaib Bashir has got a bright future to be a good spinner in Test cricket, following his first five-wicket haul in the format.

On Sunday, in dismissing India for 307 in first innings, Bashir took 5-119, his first-five wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Finn also believes Bashir’s stern examination will come when England will be defending 152 runs on day four of fourth Test against India at the JSCA International Stadium. “He’s got the fundamentals to make a good Test-match spinner. He’s got a repeatable action, the height, and these massively long fingers that rip around the ball that you need to get that purchase from it.

“What I’ve really enjoyed about him is his temperament; his ability to handle the pressure coming into a huge Test series knowing that he’s playing as one of two frontline spinners. It just hasn’t looked like it has affected him at all. Monday will be the true test, but from what I’ve seen so far, it does look like he has a bright future,” said Finn on TNT Sports.

With day three seeing England being bowled out for 145 by a spirited Indian bowling display – led by Ravichandran Ashwin’s 35th five-wicket haul in the format, Finn called for England to show consistency in their play during a long series.

“What a difference a day makes. Yesterday (on Saturday) we were sat here thinking that England were completely in the box seat, (needing to) mop up three wickets in the morning and then take the target on a deteriorating wicket towards an unmanageable total.

“But India just put their foot down, played the situation perfectly and said, ‘No, that’s not happening on (our) watch’. You just knew that someone as good as Ravi Ashwin with 500 Test wickets was going to come in and have an impact in the series.

“We felt that he had been quiet up until this point, but then he got the new ball in his hand, warmed into his spell, and (after that), boy, it was dangerous. As a touring team here, you have to be very good over a long, long period of time – and it’s a long series as well. To remain in the series and fighting, you have to do a lot of things well. You can’t just do it in fits and bursts.”

Similar views were echoed by former England skipper Alastair Cook. “Indian spinners on a turning wicket causing chaos for the England batters, and when England get the opportunity to bowl on the same wicket not having the same impact. For England to win a game of cricket, they have to be so good for the four days.

“Against this Indian side, who can be slightly off it but still in the game – if England are slightly off it, it will cost them. For two and a bit days, England have been really good, but just this moment in the last three hours of cricket, England haven’t quite been on it and India have piled through that door and left (them) a mountain to climb,” said Cook.



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