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‘We are copying India’s success…’: Cook drops unusual ‘Axar Patel’ analogy as Shoaib Bashir wrecks India batting order

Alastair Cook had an unusual ‘Axar Patel’ analogy, while hailing England’s decision to select Shoaib Bashir in their squad.

Shoaib Bashir was in fiery form on Day 2 of the ongoing fourth Test match between India and England, as he bagged a four-wicket haul in Ranchi on Saturday. An unbeaten ton from Joe Root saw the visitors post 353 in the first innings and then the two spinners Bashir, Hartley ensured that India were left stuttering at 219/7, at Stumps.

England’s Shoaib Bashir celebrates a wicket.(AP)

It looked like the hosts were going to get bowled out, but a 42-run unbroken stand between Dhruv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav, ensured that India will resume batting on Day 3. England lead by 134 runs and Bashir will be hoping to get his maiden five-wicket haul on Day 3.

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Speaking to TNT Sports, England legend Alastair Cook hailed his side’s selection strategy in picking Bashir and Hartley. Bashir had only played four first-class matches before England’s tour of India, and made his professional debut for Somerset last year. “We’ve got to give a huge amount of credit to the selection panel,” said Cook.

“To pick a guy that had only played four first-class games before going on an England tour. They haven’t tried to fit square pegs in round holes, they’ve gone: ‘What do we need? We think we need tall spinners. We’re copying the Indians’ success… Axar Patel bowling it into the wicket. Who are our tall spinners?'”

“They picked Tom Hartley and Bashir, and if you’d have [asked] a lot of cricketers who the spinners were going to be, you wouldn’t have picked those two. Whoever made the big call on selecting both those two should take some credit, because it’s very easy to bash selectors when they get it wrong. But when they get it right, they deserve some credit,” he added.

Bashir missed the series opener due to a visa delay and is only playing his second Test match. He came onto bowl in the ninth over of India’s innings, and remained unchanged from his end until Root replaced him shortly before stumps.


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