Teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed has become England’s youngest men’s Test cricketer after being handed his debut cap in the last game of the three-match series against Pakistan in Karachi on Saturday (December 17).
The Leicestershire player is 18 years and 126 days as the final Test begins at the National Stadium, beating the record of Yorkshire’s Brian Close, who was 18 years and 149 days when he took the field for England against New Zealand in Manchester on July 23, 1949.
Ahmed was one of two changes made by the England team as the visitors are looking at a historic 3-0 series sweep over Pakistan and a ninth Test win in 10 games since Ben Stokes became captain and Brendon McCullum head coach.
Ahmed has replaced spinner Will Jacks, while wicketkeeper Ben Foakes came in for James Anderson, who was given rest for the dead-rubber.
England skipper Stokes believe Karachi’s pitch would take more spin than the one used in Multan.
“We’ve taken a look at the wicket as well, which looks very dry, I personally think it might spin a bit more than it did in the last Test match,” he said.
England are on their first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005, having long refused to visit the country due to security reasons.
England’s playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes(c), Ben Foakes(w), Rehan Ahmed, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jack Leach.
On the other hand, Pakistan have made four changes in their starting XI. Shan Masood has replaced Imam-ul-Haq, who was having some injury concerns in the previous fixture. Nauman Ali, the left-arm orthodox spinner, came in for Mohammad Nawaz, while fast bowler Mohammad Ali sat out for the 21-year-old debutant Mohammad Wasim Jr. On expected lines, right-handed batter Azhar Ali – who announced his retirement from Test cricket on Friday – was picked in the team at the expense of leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood.
Pakistan’s playing XI: Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Abrar Ahmed.