England in India 2016-17 November 30, 2016

Jennings, Dawson added to England squad as replacements

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Butcher: Jennings called up to replace Hameed

Keaton Jennings and Liam Dawson are to join the England squad as replacements for the remaining two matches of the Test series in India. Jennings, the uncapped Durham opener who is set to make his England Lions debut against United Arab Emirates in Dubai on Thursday, replaces Haseeb Hameed, whose tour ended with a broken finger in Mohali.

Dawson, the Hampshire allrounder who was also selected for the Lions programme this winter before being released to play for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League, was called up to replace Zafar Ansari, who is still struggling with the back injury he sustained in the second Test in Visakhapatnam. Ansari will stay with the squad and continue to receive medical support in India before returning to England on December 8.

Jennings, 24, made his Durham debut in 2012 and was the leading run-scorer in the 2016 Specsavers County Championship season with 1548 runs at an average of 64, which led to him sweeping a host of awards and earning a spot in the England Lions squad. He has been on the Lions programme for the last month, initially at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough and for the last two weeks in Dubai, based at the ICC Academy. He is due to join the England squad in Mumbai on December 5 when they begin preparations for the fourth Test which starts at Wankhede Stadium three days later.

The son of former South Africa coach Ray, Jennings was preferred ahead of Nick Gubbins, the left-handed batsman from Middlesex, and Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond. Jennings' call-up does not mean he is certain of a debut in Mumbai as England also have Ben Duckett, who opened in Bangladesh, in the squad, albeit his form is a concern.

"Andy Flower told me on Tuesday night," Jennings said. "It was a lot to take in, and very exciting. And then telling my family and the guys at Durham has been pretty emotional. My mum was in tears and my dad was speechless, and they're two things that don't happen very often. All the Durham boys have been great - Mark Wood was bouncing off the walls, although that's not unusual for him.

"The thought of going back to India is exciting too. I've been lucky enough to go there once before as a youngster, when my dad was on the coaching staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. That was a great experience, but this is going to be very different. To be going there as a member of the England squad, I'm going to have to introduce myself to a lot of new guys I guess, because a lot of them I only know as opposition. I reckon [Durham team-mate Ben] Stokes will be a good guy to break the ice!"

Dawson, 26, made ODI and T20I debuts this year after impressing on last winter's Lions programme in the UAE. He is also expected to arrive in Mumbai early next week.

It is the second year in succession that Ansari's involvement in a tour has been in some way curtailed. He was picked for the tour of the UAE 12 months ago only to suffer a broken thumb hours after the squad announcement.

Dawson was preferred to Jack Leach despite claiming only 20 Championship wickets in 2016 at a cost of 43.85 apiece. Leach claimed 65 Championship wickets at an average of 21.87 - no England-qualified player claimed more in Division One - but his Somerset captain in 2016, Chris Rogers, suggested he had "emotionally… a bit of a way to go" before he was ready for international cricket. Dawson is the better batsman and fielder, though, and is seen as a reliable, defensive spinner. His attitude impressed the England management when he played limited-overs cricket earlier in the year.

The England squad has now disbanded for five days of holiday, before reconvening to prepare for the Mumbai Test which starts from December 8. Most of the players have travelled to Dubai for a short break, although Stuart Broad's time there will be spent training with the Lions as he aims to overcome the foot injury which kept him out of the Mohali Test.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • DocBindra on December 6, 2016, 21:47 GMT

    @BTGLYNN I think you are confusing confidence, leadership and attitude. Mental aptitude/ application? Those terms are hardly indicative of just attitude but more of a melting pot of technique, patience, skill, leadership, adaptation and yes, attitude. You need them ALL...again, attitude alone or predominantly, will only get you into trouble. By definition it means a settled way of thinking or feeling towards a person or something showed in their behaviour. Great and upcoming players always have that key trait of being adaptive in different conditions.

  • opto_pus on December 3, 2016, 15:21 GMT

    @EDDSNAKE:"As others have already said, picking Dawson ahead of Leach is disgraceful. 20 wickets at 43.85 rather than Leach's 65 at 21.87, but Dawson gets the nod as he can 'bat a bit', just like Batty and Ansari. Those picks have worked out well!" England may take the view if Jack Leach was to play and England lost 4-0 Leach would probably never return. The amazing thing is India haven't even intrduced their best pace bowler into the series Bhuvneshwar Kumar whom is very effective with the new ball compared to Umesh Yadav. If Kumar is included life for England could become harder in terms of easy runs like with Umesh Yadav. For all his pace he rarely threatens the stumps, something that Kumar is an expert on. I think Virat Kohli's thinking is a bit jumbbled up you would rather have the opposition down 20-2 or 28-3 then introduce your spinners because ultimately the seamers get judged of the early wickets as has been the case with Stuart Broad. The spinners England have are poor.

  • nursery_ender on December 2, 2016, 18:17 GMT

    SRINI_INDIAN ON DECEMBER 2, 2016, 3:38 GMT @Nursery_ender: KP is a middle order slogger? ------------------------------------

    Have you not heard of exaggerating for effect? He sure as hell isn't an opener and he sure as hell isn't a realistic prospect for a four- or five-day game. Even 50 overs is probably a stretch these days.

  • christeam on December 2, 2016, 16:57 GMT

    jennings's father, ray, took the best catch i have ever seen. for transvaal at the wanderers. best of luck, keaton

  • Danial on December 2, 2016, 15:20 GMT

    They should consider dawid malan. Better than Jennings

  • Charlie101 on December 2, 2016, 13:50 GMT

    I dont know why Leach was not on the Lions tour - Chris Rogers says he is not ready for International cricket yet but surely we should have taken him to the UAE to assess him . He might not have played because it was an ODI tour but at least they would see him in the nets

  • tntn on December 2, 2016, 7:05 GMT

    Jennings or ducket: Another left hander.. Good for India

  • grantaubin on December 2, 2016, 5:35 GMT

    Another talented South African cricketer has made England his home and has now been picked to play for England. From one South African to another, I say good luck to Keaton Jennings and hope that he prospers at the highest level.

  • Srini_Indian on December 2, 2016, 3:38 GMT

    @Nursery_ender: KP is a middle order slogger? Lol! Just shows how much cricket knowledge you possess. He was your best batsman until he retired and you call him a slogger. But I can understand why you would want to tag a flamboyant player with flair as "slogger".

  • Nampally on December 1, 2016, 22:21 GMT

    Hopefully Dawson & Jennings add to the England's Team strength. On paper they look promising but it remains to be seen how they perform on the field. Jennings seems to be ideal replacement for Haseeb. But being a LH bat means opening with 2 lefties + retaining up to 7 lefties. India will counter with 2 off spinners in Ashwin & Jayant Yadav. Anyway good luck to the new comers if they play in the XI. It must have been an emotional time for Jennings family & taken them back when the Dad Jennings was with RCB. However it will be tough to fill the shoes of Haseeb who was improving with every match & always seemed to have an answer to the Indian bowlers. Dawson may not be that lucky in making his debut unless the injury to one of the England's pace bowlers keeps them off the XI.

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