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Ind vs Eng: England Spinner Shoaib Bashir Flies Back to UK To Resolve Visa Issue

#INDvsENG | Pak-origin Shoaib Bashir is now likely to miss the first Test, with #BenStokes calling it "frustrating."

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England's uncapped spinner Shoaib Bashir has returned to the United Kingdom, in order to sort out the Visa delay preventing him from joining the national squad for the upcoming Test series in India.

The 20-year-old cricketer, who is of Pakistani descent, was initially left behind in Abu Dhabi while the rest of the team traveled to India on Sunday (21 January), awaiting resolution to the bureaucratic hurdle.

Despite being a surprise inclusion in the England Test squad after only six first-class matches, Bashir's journey to India has hit a snag due to the yet-to-be-issued visa. The Somerset off-spinner is now expected to miss the first Test in Hyderabad, scheduled to commence on Thursday (25 January).
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Expressing his frustration, England captain Ben Stokes remarked, "I find it particularly frustrating. We announced the squad in mid-December, and now Bash finds himself without a visa to get here. I am more frustrated for him. I didn't want this type of situation to be his first experience of what it's like to be in the England Test team. I feel for him."

The British government has responded to the situation, with a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stating, "We expect India to treat British citizens fairly at all times in its visa processes." The issues faced by British citizens with Pakistani heritage have been previously raised with the Indian High Commissioner in London.

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Leach, Ahmed & Hartley Expected To Form England’s Spin Trio in Hyderabad

In Bashir's absence, England is considering fielding all three available frontline spinners on the expected dry surface in Hyderabad. Fit-again Jack Leach could be joined by leg-spinner Ahmed and uncapped Lancashire left-armer Tom Hartley. The team's composition will depend on whether England opts for two seamers, with Leach likely supported by one of Hartley and Ahmed, alongside pace bowlers James Anderson and Mark Wood.

Stokes confirmed that Ben Foakes will return behind the stumps, with Jonny Bairstow playing as a specialist batter following Harry Brook's departure from the tour for personal reasons.

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