England have picked uncapped Shoaib Bashir as one of their four spinner for their upcoming Test series in India. With only six first class caps to his name, he is the latest in a long line of surprise call ups.

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Scott Borthwick

Scott Borthwick was picked to be England’s frontline spinner in Sydney in the final Test of England’s 5-0 drubbing during the 2013-24 Ashes. He was selected despite only being a 23-year-old rookie all-rounder who was a better batter than a bowler. Borthwick conceded 82 runs at an economy rate of 6.3 and never played a Test match again.

Liam Livingstone

Liam Livingstone was picked for England’s historic tour of Pakistan in December 2022 despite not having played any First Class cricket since September 2021. Livingstone was picked because he fit the Bazball mould and could bowl both off-spin and leg-spin, even though he had played very little red-ball cricket in recent years and was merely a part-time spinner for Lancashire when he had played red-ball cricket for his County.

Darren Pattinson

Darren Pattinson was selected as a frontline pacer for a single game against South Africa at Headingley in 2008. He was picked despite being 28 years old and only having played 11 First Class games because he took 29 wickets for Nottinghamshire in the County season. Pattinson took 2 for 95 as England lost by ten wickets, after which he was dropped and never picked again.

Rehan Ahmed

Rehan Ahmed became the youngest player to play Test cricket for England on 17 December, debuting in the final game of England’s tour of Pakistan in 2022. Ahmed took seven wickets in the match as England completed a 3-0 series victory; however, he could only do so because he was fast-tracked on the Test side, on potential, despite having played only three First Class games before his international debut.

Joe Denly

Joe Denly was picked to fill England’s perpetually gaping hole at number three at 32 after having played First Class cricket for 15 years. Denly was selected to play for England despite having a batting average below 40 in the 190 First Class games he had played before his debut. Denly played 15 Test matches in which he scored 827 runs at an average of 29.53

Amjad Khan

Danish-born fast bowler Amjad Khan was picked to play a solitary Test against the West Indies at Port-of-Spain in 2009. Khan had a mediocre first-class record, averaging nearly 30 when he was selected, and was notoriously injury-prone, which resulted in him missing most of the 2009 season and, ultimately, never playing another Test.

Usman Afzaal

Usman Afzaal was picked for England even though there were an abundance of fitness concerns surrounding him. Afzaal played three matches in the 2001 Ashes series, where he managed only 83 runs. He was permanently sidelined by Duncan Fletcher, England’s head coach at the time when he arrived in New Zealand perceptively unfit in 2002 before England’s three-match Test series commenced. He never played another Test.

Mason Crane

Mason Crane debuted at the SCG in the final Test of the 2017-18 Ashes series, which England lost 4-0. He was 21 then and was picked because he was considered a bright prospect, even though he had only played 29 First Class games, in which he had taken 75 wickets, averaging a shade under 44. He conceded 193 runs at an economy rate of 4.02 in his only Test, taking only the solitary wicket of Usman Khawaja, as England lost by an innings and 123 runs.

Charlie Absolom

Charlie Absolom played his only Test during the 1878-79 Ashes, aged 32, after being selected by his County captain, Lord George Harris. Absolom averaged 15 in 99 First Class games. He did not bowl and batted at nine, scoring 58 in what ended up being his only international match.