England in India 2008-09 December 7, 2008

Amjad Khan earns call-up

Cricinfo staff


England via Denmark: Amjad Khan has been added to the Test squad as the final tour decision looms for England's players © Getty Images
 
Kent quick bowler Amjad Khan has been named in England squad's to face India next week, as a replacement for Ryan Sidebottom, and Adil Rashid, the Yorkshire legspinner, will travel to gain experience but won't come into consideration for selection.

For Amjad, who was born in Denmark and gained a British passport in 2006, it is his second England call-up in recent weeks after he was added to the one-day squad following the fifth ODI in Cuttack. However, he didn't have the chance to join up with the team as the tour was suspended after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Amjad has been favoured ahead of Sajid Mahmood and Liam Plunkett to bolster the pace ranks, which will be without Sidebottom for both Tests and Stuart Broad for the first in Chennai. It marks a major turnaround in Amjad's fortunes after he missed the entire 2007 season with a serious knee injury that threatened his career.

"I must have done something right in the last couple of days," Amjad said. "Saj and I got picked for the one-dayers and I thought if they were going to pick me then there was no reason they should not pick me for the Tests. I thought I had a chance but I knew it would come down to form on the day - that sort of stuff."

Whether Amjad gets to make his Test debut depends on the balance of England's side. Monty Panesar is certain to start as the No. 1 spinner, but the temptation will be there to hand Graeme Swann a first cap in an attack of three quicks and two spinners.

Andrew Flintoff's availability means England have the chance to field a balanced line-up with Steve Harmison and James Anderson sharing the fast-bowling duties. Swann would also add some batting depth to a lower order that will miss Broad in Chennai.

While Rashid won't officially come into the Test reckoning it is another step towards the international career that has appeared inevitable since he first played for Yorkshire. He was a late addition to the expanded squad in Abu Dhabi and has now been fast-tracked onto the full trip. At county level he has developed into a quality allrounder - so much so that there has been some concern his batting has overtaken his bowling - but with an eye on the future it's his legspin that is most important.

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