'Will be a slight frustration if they weren’t given opportunities at county level' - Brendon McCullum on Shoaib Bashir, Tom Hartley

Updated - 27 Feb 2024, 07:39 PM

Brendon McCullum, Ben Stokes, Shoaib Bashir
Brendon McCullum, Ben Stokes, Shoaib Bashir [PC: X/Twitter]

England head coach Brendon McCullum opened up the spin duo of Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley. He said that they would get slightly mad if the stars of the team of India tour didn’t get opportunities in the upcoming County Championship.

Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir have been absolutely brilliant with the ball in the ongoing Test series against England. The duo was uncapped ahead of the India tour and hadn’t played much domestic cricket. There were a lot of speculations on how Ben Stokes will fight with such inexperienced spinners.

However, Tom Hartley and Shaoib Bashir have proved many wrongs. With the way they have bowled, it’s something for everyone to cherish. Despite having very little experience both have bowled exceptionally well and have troubled Indian batters a lot.

While Tom Hartley is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 20 wickets to his name, Shoaib Bashir has bagged 12 scalps. If groomed well the duo can be a huge prospect for the team. But for that, they need to play in the county.

But Lancashire signing Australia star Nathan Lyon poses a threat to the game time Tom Hartley. Shoaib Bashir on the other hand, will be second-choice spinner for Somerset with Jack Leach, who will have surgery on a knee injury, being the first.

Brendon McCullum said that they need to try to get Tom Hartley and Shaoib Bashir to play as much cricket as they can. While hailing the duo as tough characters, the England head coach said that they need to give them chances. Speaking to the media (as quoted by Independent UK), he explained:

“We’ve got to keep trying to get cricket into them. Whatever opportunity we can we’ll try and give it to them because there’s two guys there more than good enough for international cricket. They’re tough characters. We’ve seen both of them have big hearts. It doesn’t get any harder than it is right now and they’ve both stood up and performed so we’ve just to keep giving both of them chances.”

Brendon McCullum admitted that they would get frustrated if two spinners didn’t get opportunities at the county level. He said that he doesn’t want to dictate terms to the county team but the duo needs to play. He expressed:

“It will be a slight frustration of ours if they weren’t given opportunities at county level. There’s a very real possibility that might be the case. But without wanting to dictate to counties because they have their own agendas, when you see performances like we have out of those two bowlers throughout the series, I think you’d be slightly mad if you didn’t give them more opportunities in county cricket.”

We weren’t quite good enough when it mattered – Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum further talked about the series loss against England, admitting that they weren’t good enough when it mattered the most. He highlighted that his side is a better cricket team than they were before and they will be doing incredible things in the next 18 months. He added:

“We weren’t quite good enough when it mattered – or India were better, to be honest, than us being not quite good enough. We’ve lost this series and we didn’t win the Ashes (last year) but we’re a better cricket team than we were 18 months ago and we’ve got the opportunity in the next 18 months to do some pretty special s***.”

The series between India and England stays 3-1 in favor of the hosts. The last match of the series will be played from 7th March in Dharamsala.


Brendon McCullum England National Cricket Team India National Cricket Team India vs England Shoaib Bashir Tom Hartley