India’s fast bowler Avesh Khan plays football during a practice session..

India’s fast bowler Avesh Khan plays football during a practice session..
| Photo Credit: AFP

A day after their embarrassing defeat to hosts South Africa in the first Test, India called up right-arm fast bowler Avesh Khan on Friday, December 29, 2023, in a bid to bolster their pace attack for the second and final Test at Cape Town.

India lost the opening Test by an innings and 32 runs here on Thursday, the match ending in three days.

The right-arm fast bowler was named as a replacement for Mohammed Shami, who was ruled out of the two Tests as he did not get the necessary clearance from the BCCI medical team.

“The Men’s Selection Committee has named Mr Avesh Khan as a replacement for Mr Mohd. Shami for the second Test against South Africa to be played from 3rd-7th January 2024 in Cape Town,” the board said in a release.

The 27-year-old Avesh, who has so far claimed 149 wickets in 38 first-class games at 22.65, was a part of India’s victorious campaign in the three-match ODI series against South Africa before the Tests in which he took six wickets.

Avesh is currently busy representing the India A side in their four-day tour match against South Africa A at Benoni, where he returned 23.3-5-54-5 to help bowl out the hosts for 263 in the first innings.

India captain Rohit Sharma lamented the poor support given by other bowlers to pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah after the visitors suffered one of their worst defeats in South Africa.

India went into the Test with four seam options in Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur while also keeping ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the mix.

“This was not a 400-run wicket and we gave too many runs. We sprayed the ball all around, but it happens. One can’t depend on one particular bowler (Bumrah), the other three pacers also needed to perform their roles, we could learn from how South Africa bowled,” Rohit told the media after the match.

“Bumrah bowled well and we all know his quality. All he wanted was a bit of support which he didn’t get. That happens. All three tried hard, bending their backs but didn’t happen the way we wanted to.

“But games like these teaches you a lot as to what you want to do as a bowling unit,” Rohit added.

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