The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officially announced Avesh Khan’s inclusion in India’s squad for the crucial Cape Town Test against South Africa. Avesh Khan steps in as a replacement for the injured Mohammed Shami, who was sidelined for the remainder of the series. The first Test in Centurion witnessed India’s struggles, resulting in a comprehensive innings-and-32-run defeat at the hands of the Proteas.
In the batting department, India faced a tough challenge, folding for a mere 131 on Day 3, with Virat Kohli contributing more than half of the runs with his innings of 76. The bowling unit, apart from Jasprit Bumrah’s four-wicket haul, failed to make a significant impact, conceding 408 runs in the first innings. Debutant Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur had challenging outings, prompting a reconsideration of the bowling lineup.
This situation led to the inclusion of Avesh Khan, an uncapped player in Test cricket but a familiar face from the recent ODI series against South Africa, where he impressed with six wickets in three matches. Avesh notably played a vital role in the first ODI, registering figures of 4/27 as India bowled out the Proteas for a mere 116 runs.
While Avesh Khan is yet to make his Test debut, the 27-year-old has a commendable first-class record with Madhya Pradesh, amassing 149 wickets at an average of 22.65 in 38 matches. His recent appearance in the Deodhar Trophy for the Central Zone showcased his prowess.
As India strives to level the two-match series, the upcoming Cape Town Test holds significant importance. South Africa remains a challenging frontier for India, where they are yet to secure a Test series victory. Despite the historical challenges, Rohit Sharma’s team aims to avoid a series defeat and potentially secure a draw in South Africa for the first time since the 2011/12 season.