Rehan Ahmed will become England’s YOUNGEST-EVER Test cricketer at just 18 as Ben Stokes’s side go in search of a series whitewash in Pakistan… with Ben Foakes also returning to the team, while Jimmy Anderson is rested
- England have announced their team for the third and final Test against Pakistan
- Rehan Ahmed will play and become England’s youngest-ever Test cricketer
- Ben Foakes also comes back into the side after missing the first two Tests
- Will Jacks drops out of the XI, while Jimmy Anderson is set to be rested
- Ben Stokes’s England are aiming for a first-ever series whitewash in Pakistan
Leicestershire leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed will become England’s youngest-ever Test cricketer after Ben Stokes confirmed his selection for Saturday’s third and final Test against Pakistan in Karachi, with the tourists going in search of a historic 3-0 whitewash.
Ahmed, who will be 18 years and 126 days – 23 days younger than Brian Close was when he was first chosen, against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1949 – comes in for Will Jacks, while Ben Foakes returns to keep wicket after missing the first two Tests.
Jimmy Anderson, meanwhile, has been rested after playing an important role in the wins at Rawalpindi and Multan, where his eight wickets cost just 18 apiece.
Rehan Ahmed will make his Test debut for England at the age of just 18 in Karachi on Saturday
Ahmed will replace fellow spinner Will Jacks in the playing XI for the final Test of the series
But most interest will focus on the selection of Ahmed, who missed practice this morning at Karachi National Stadium because he was feeling slightly under the weather, but will take the field for only the fourth time in a first-class match on a pitch expected to turn more than Multan.
‘It’s a good opportunity for us to not only look at him, but for him to come in and experience what it’s like to play international cricket,’ said Stokes.
‘We brought him into the squad to try and get him among us, and we’ve been very impressed with what we’ve seen.
‘He’s got a lot of skill with both bat and ball, so it’s great to be able to bring someone with the talent and the excitement he has into the squad and see what he’s got this week.
Ben Foakes has been recalled to the starting XI after missing out in the first two Tests
Ben Stokes’s team are looking for a first-ever series whitewash in Pakistan to cap off a fine year
‘I think being at such a young age, it’s great to see someone who has so much freedom in what they do and the way that he bats. He likes to get on with it and show what he’s about and almost – not show off, but show what he can do.
‘He’s got a vast array of shots. And obviously a wrist-spinner is great to have in your team, especially in these conditions.’
As for Anderson, England want to make sure they look after him, with the series won and the Ashes coming up next summer.
‘Looking at what we’ve got coming up, we felt like it was a good decision to rest him and not risk him going forward.’
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s 37-year-old batsman Azhar Ali announced that this Test – his 97th – would be his last.
Only Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and Javed Miandad have scored more than his 19 Test centuries for Pakistan.
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali has announced he will retire from Test cricket after this match