Skip to content
en-gb GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Cricket
  2. International Cricket

Pakistan v England 3rd Test: Rehan Ahmed to make history in Karachi

Leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed is set to become the youngest man to play Test cricket for England after being handed his debut in the 3rd Test against Pakistan.

The 18-year-old will break Yorkshire batter Brian Close's record, which has stood since 1949.

Ahmed will be aged 18 years and 126 days when the first day of the third Test begins on Saturday, while Close was 18 years and 149 days old when the Yorkshire star played against New Zealand at Old Trafford 73 years ago.

What: Pakistan v England, Third Test
Where: National Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan
When: 05:00, Saturday 17th December
How to watch: Sky Sports Cricket
Odds: Pakistan 11/8, England 13/8, Draw 3/1

England can experiment in Karachi

Ahmed's introduction to the side is one of two changes as he and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes return to the fold in place of paceman James Anderson and all-rounder Will Jacks.

England captain Ben Stokes has the chance to experiment with his team after they clinched the series with their previous victory in Multan.

The tourists started December by beating Pakistan in the first Test by 74 runs in Rawalpindi, with Stokes' side clinching victory at the death in the fading light.

Related Cricket News

Pakistan v England Third Test Preview: Tourists aim for series whitewash

Entertaining England claim series win in Pakistan

Their 26-run victory last time out helped secure England their first Test series win in Pakistan since 2000.

No visiting team has ever beaten Pakistan 3-0 in their country, while England have only ever earned three previous clean sweeps in away Test series of three matches or more.

While all eyes will be on Ahmed, England will hope the rest of their bowling attack can take the pressure off him.

Despite leaving training early on Friday through illness, the youngster is set to start on Saturday as he looks to make a name for himself.

England have been in fine form throughout their tour of Pakistan, and they are 10/11 to claim a first-innings lead.

What can we expect from England's new man?

Without Anderson in the team, the rest of the attack will need to step up if they want to enter the record books and secure a rare 3-0 success in Pakistan.

Stokes and the England selectors have therefore put a lot of faith in Ahmed, despite a lack of experience at the highest level.

The Leicestershire youngster has only played three first-class matches and he claimed nine wickets at an average of 30 last season.

Ahmed was part of the England team that reached the final of the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, while he played for England Lions against South Africa on home soil.

His inclusion means England now have a second frontline spin-bowling option on a Karachi pitch that is expected to turn.

However, he will hope to deliver with the bat in hand as well, after scoring a century at number five for Leicestershire against Derbyshire in his last first-class match in September.

When asked what he expects from Ahmed, Stokes told BBC Sport: "I've been watching him closely, without letting him know I've been watching him closely.

"It's a great opportunity to let Rehan go out and really express himself. There's not too much pressure to perform, just to have fun.

"You only make your debut once; you can never make it again. If we can make him feel like he's had a ball of a time out there, and he walks off with wickets and runs, that would be great.

"It's very tough to tell what his biggest strength is, bat or ball," added Stokes. "He likes to show off with the bat because he's got so many different shots. I'm very excited to see what he's got with the ball."

Stokes and the England selectors will hope their latest decision pays off, as previous plans with leg spinners have all fallen by the wayside.

Mason Crane, Matt Parkinson and Scott Borthwick were all unable to impress when given the opportunity, while Adil Rashid has not played red-ball cricket since January 2019.

While Rashid is yet to close the door on Test cricket, England's focus is on getting the best out of Ahmed on what is a huge opportunity on the world stage.

He and Jack Leach will look to take advantage of the favourable conditions, and Leach is available at 5/6 to take over 4.5 match wickets.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.