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Three uncapped players named in England squad for India Tests

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LONDON: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday, announced a 16-man squad for the five-match away Test series against India, featuring three uncapped players Shoaib Bashir, Gus Atkinson and Tom Hartley.

Atkinson had a remarkable stint in the County Championship when he picked up 20 wickets in five matches at an average of 20.20, playing a pivotal role in Surrey claiming back-to-back titles.

Hartley and Bashir, on the other hand, were both part of the England Lions squad that trained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month.

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Shoaib Bashir, who made his professional debut in June after signing a professional contract with Somerset, has thus far played only six first-class matches and picked up 10 wickets at an average of 67.

Hartley too, has a modest first-class record for Lancashire, with 40 career wickets at 36.57.

Meanwhile, England Test captain Ben Stokes, who recently underwent knee surgery last month, is also included in the squad.

However, it remains uncertain whether the dynamic all-rounder would be fit enough to bowl in the series.

Ben Foakes, who was dropped for the Ashes, has been recalled for the India Tests, while Jack Leach and Ollie Pope both return to the squad after recovering from back and shoulder injuries during the English summer.

England’s 16-man squad for the India Tests features four spinners and as many pacers.

England Test squad: Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes (captain), Mark Wood.

England’s Tour of India Itinerary:

1st Test: India v England, 25-29 January, Hyderabad
2nd Test: India v England, 2-6 February, Vizag
3rd Test: India v England, 15-19 February, Rajkot
4th Test: India v England, 23-27 February, Ranchi
5th Test: India v England, 7-11 March, Dharamsala

READ: Mohammad Hafeez expresses disappointment over slow wicket in Canberra

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