IND vs ENG: Rehan Ahmed opts out of India series citing personal reasons

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday, February 23 confirmed that youngster Rehan Ahmed will travel back to his home and will not take any further part in the ongoing series against India. On the eve of the fourth Test, the visitors announced their playing XI for Ranchi and interestingly, they decided to play two specialist spinners, as Rehan was given rest. However, things turned out differently as the 19-year-old was heading home citing personal reasons.

Meanwhile, the Ben Stokes-led side won’t be calling up a replacement. After the first Test, experienced spinner Jack Leach got ruled out for the remaining part of the series, and even so, the visitors didn’t name a replacement. They currently have Shaoib Bashir and Tom Hartley as specialist spinners, while Joe Root remains the other option available.

England are currently trailing 2-1 in the series and the surface in Ranchi is expected to favour the spinners. Vice-captain Ollie Pope and later Ben Stokes confirmed that the surface has a lot of patches and understood that the spinners will have an advantage. In such a case, Bashir and Hartley will have to step up their game. Hartley, who won the Player of the Match in Hyderabad, failed to justify his potential after that, while Bashir is yet to make a significant contribution.

Joe Root has been impressive with the ball but his bowling workload might be affecting his batting performances. The former England skipper is struggling with the bat, averaging a paltry 12.83 after the first three Test matches. Despite so, Stokes clarified that the team won’t change their Bazball approach, which has given them a lot of success in the last couple of years.