Keaton Jennings(24) and Liam Dawson(26) are the two additions to the England squad for the remaining two matches of the ongoing Paytm Test series vs India.
Jennings has been called in as a replacement for the impressive Haseeb Hameed. Hameed has unfortunately ended his tour with a broken finger during the Mohali test. The Durham opener who is yet to make his international debut is expected to be the second opener, alongside captain Cook in the fourth test. The other prospect opener, Ben Duckett has had a poor run in the series.
Liam Dawson, the Hampshire all-rounder, played white-ball cricket for England last summer. He was impressive on last winter’s Lions programme in the UAE. Dawson is the replacement for Zafar Ansari, who is still struggling with the back injury he sustained in the second Test in Visakhapatnam. Dawson is coming out of a successful county season with the Hampshire. He took 20 wickets last summer at an average of 43.85. He is not the next best available spinner in the country but he did average 33.89 with the bat. They have selected another batsman who can bowl a bit.
Jennings made his Durham debut in 2012. He was the leading run-scorer in the 2016 Specsavers County Championship season, where he scored 1548 runs at an average of 64. This performance brought him to the limelight and helped him earn a spot in England Lions squad. He has been on the Lions program for the last month, initially at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough and for the last two weeks at the ICC Academy, Dubai. He will soon be joining the England team in Mumbai. They will begin their practice sessions for the fourth Test, commencing from 8th December in Wankhede stadium.
Here’s a glimpse of his record-breaking double ton against Surrey.
Dawson was selected for the Lion program this winter before he played for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League. He made one-day international and T20 debuts for England last summer after impressing on last winter’s Lions program in the UAE. Dawson has 130 first-class wickets at 37.47, averages 34.17 with the bat and has the highest score of 169. He was preferred to Jack Leach despite claiming only 20 Championship wickets in 2016 at a cost of 43.85 apiece. Leach was the leading wicket-tacker with 65 Championship wickets at an average of 21.87.
Dawson is the better batsman and fielder, though, and is seen as a reliable, defensive spinner. His attitude impressed the England management when he played limited-overs cricket earlier in the year. He is being selected on the basis of his character and not statistics. He is also expected to arrive in Mumbai early next week.
While Hameed is going home to have a metal plate inserted in his hand, Ansari will stay with the squad and continue to receive medical support in India before returning to England on 8 December.
England, 2-0 down in the series, will make best efforts to square the series in the remaining two matches. They need to get injuries of Broad, Woakes out of the way during the 9-day break before the next test match. They will try to come up with the best possible combination after the required replacements in the squad.