Zafar Ansari
Zafar Ansari has become England's latest Test debutant Getty Images

The ultra-hectic nature of England's winter tours to Bangladesh and India have convinced the team's hierarchy to continually rest and rotate their best players. And after the Three Lions edged past Bangladesh by a meagre 22 runs in the first Test in Chittagong, the Alastair Cook-led Three Lions have already decided to tinker with their line-up.

The beneficiary on this occasion is the highly-rated Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari, who is make his debut in the unfamiliar surroundings of Mirpur. Here, IBTimes UK takes a look at England's latest Test debutant.


Cambridge University-educated Ansari is said to have the perfect temperament to play international cricket for England, having already thrived under pressure at The Oval. The 24-year-old is a quick learner and the England management are apparently more convinced by his ability to cope with the demands of international cricket than other spin bowlers on the County circuit, like Somerset's Jack Leach.

Ansari is philosophical about the game and unlike most modern players, is quick to acknowledge that there is more to life than cricket. "Cricket is not the end for me. My life isn't directed towards it. Cricket is a part of my life," he previously said, according to Cricinfo.

The novelty factor

Given the dry, dusty surfaces being served up on the sub-continent, England have packed their touring party with spin options. Ansari is joined in the squad by his Surrey teammate Gareth Batty, leg-spinner Adil Rashid and all-rounder Moeen Ali –Ansari actually replaces Batty for the second Test after the veteran took 1-51 and 3-65 opening the bowling in the first Test win.

Zafar Ansari
Zafar Ansari is the only left-arm bowler in the England squad Getty Images

Ansari is the only left-arm option in the England squad and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow thinks his unique angle of attack could prove useful. "The pace that he bowls and the control that he has can only be a positive thing for us," Bairstow told the BBC. "The bite that he'll get out of the wicket being a left-arm orthodox bowler – I think it's a good asset for us."

Batting depth

Zafar Ansari
The Surrey man is also a talented batsman Getty Images

In the first Test in Chittagong, England fielded a team in which every player had scored a first-class hundred, making it one of the lengthiest batting line-ups in international history. However, with Ansari's inclusion, they have added even more depth to their side.

Ansari frequently opens the batting for Surrey and already has three first-class centuries to his name. While his main job will be to take wickets in Mirpur, England can also expect the Surrey man to chip in with some more-than-useful runs against Bangladesh.