Ansari To Make England Debut In Second Test


Zafar Ansari is 18/1 to be named man of the match when he makes his England Test debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

The slow left armer, who was left out of the opener in Chittagong despite taking four for 68 in the second warm-up game, will replace fellow spinner and Surrey team-mate Gareth Batty in the line-up for the second Test.

England captain Alastair Cook also announced Steven Finn would replace the rested Stuart Broad, who was in line for his 100th Test at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

“Zafar’s going to make his debut coming in for Gareth and Finny’s coming in for Broady,” Cook said at his pre-match press conference.

All-rounder Ansari made his England bow in May 2015 in the one-off one-day international against Ireland in Dublin – although he did not get a chance to bowl or bat after the contest was washed out after 18 overs.

He would arguably have made his Test bow long before now but for a badly broken thumb, sustained on the same day he was named in England’s Test squad to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

The serious nature of the fracture meant he was ruled out for the entirety of the winter and although it also troubled him at the start of the season, he took 22 wickets in 10 Specsavers County Championship Division One matches at an average of 31.40.

Cook said: “Clearly he has the ability to take the ball away from the right-handers.

“One thing I’ve seen in the nets is he can bowl at good pace with good control. It will be really interesting to see how he goes. He can also bat as well, which is good.”

England are priced at 4/6 to win the match, Bangladesh are 41/10 to taste victory and the draw can be backed at 11/4.


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