Third time's a charm - Ansari to finally make England debut


Zafar Ansari will make his Test debut in place of Gareth Batty as England make two changes for the second Test against Bangladesh.

Ansari's international bow will come at the third attempt, after his maiden England outing came in an abandoned one-day international against Ireland last year before injury scuppered his chances of featuring in the tour of the United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan.

The left-arm spinner took 22 wickets at 31.40 for Surrey in 10 County Championship outings last season, while scoring 439 runs at an average of 27.43.

Alastair Cook will have a full gamut of spin options available to him in Dhaka, alongside Moeen Ali's off-spin and the leg-spin of Adil Rashid, and the England captain hopes Ansari can shine as plans for the tour of India are finalised.

"Zafar clearly has the ability to take the ball away from the right-handers," Cook said.

"And one thing he seemed to have 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, possibly at eight, possibly nine.

"I thought Gareth got better and better in Chittagong. In an ideal world, he would like another game, but we like the three spinners, three seamers option, and we did want to give Zafar a go."

Steven Finn will also get a chance to shine in place of Stuart Broad, who must wait until the first Test of the India series in Rajkot to make his 100th outing in the longest format.

"I'm sure he'd like to get that milestone, but it is a case of looking further to the future," Cook said of Broad, who will lead the attack in India in the continued absence of James Anderson.

"He understands the amount of cricket he could play over the next six weeks, and we don't want to get to India without too many people not having played cricket."

Finn got the nod over Jake Ball, who misses out on the second Test as England try to get Chris Woakes, star of the English summer with the ball, up to speed in subcontinental conditions.

Cook said: "In an ideal world, we'd have liked Jake to have had a game as well, but we feel as if Chris Woakes hasn't played a huge amount of cricket in the subcontinent and didn't have a huge workload in the last game. 

"It'll be beneficial for him to have more experience in these conditions."