England call up Keaton Jennings and Liam Dawson to Test squad
The English Cricket Board announced that left-arm opening batsman Keaton Jennings and left-arm orthodox spin bowler Liam Dawson will join the squad for the remainder of the Test series against India.
England are currently 2 – 0 down after the first three Tests and their squad has been weakened with injuries to opening batsman Haseeb Hameed and all-rounder Zafar Ansari. They will be hoping that their new call-ups will have a similar impact like the Australian debutants did in their win over South Africa in the third Test.
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Haseeb Hameed, the 19-year-old, battled through pain to score a heroic half-century in the second innings of the recently concluded Test in Mohali. Hameed will return home a national hero as he is set to undergo surgery on his fractured little finger.
“He has got a broken hand, needs a plate within to fix it. Yes, it’s obviously unlucky for a youngster, who impressed us all with his technique and talent and obviously now when he’s playing for England, he will do anything to get out there,” skipper Alastair Cook said after the match.
Keaton Jennings is a like-for-like replacement for the injured Hameed. While not as young, the 24-year-old just had his best season ever for Durham where he finished as top-scorer in the country championship with an astonishing 1548 runs at an average of over 60 with 7 centuries to boot.
Jennings also represented South Africa’s U-19 squad and will be hoping his career goes the way of another famous South African-born player, Kevin Pietersen. For his performances in 2016, he was awarded the County Championship player of the year trophy. Interestingly, he is the son of former RCB coach Ray Jennings.
There was plenty expected of Zafar Ansari ahead of the tour, and he impressed in his first outing, before hurting his back in the second Test at Vizag.
Ansari will be replaced by 26-year-old Liam Dawson, who is quite handy with the bat as well. Dawson was part of the England squad that finished as runners-up in the 2016 World T20, though he had to wait until July to make his debut against Sri Lanka.
He has represented his country in a solitary ODI as well apart from being England’s U-19 captain at one stage. He is currently playing for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League and will be hoping to make his debut in Mumbai as well.
Fresh energy would be the order of the day for the English and Jennings and Dawson would definitely be looking to provide that.