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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Matthew Cooper

England urged to make Rehan Ahmed their youngest Test debutant in final Pakistan game

England have been told to hand 18-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed a debut in their third and final Test against Pakistan, having been warned it would be a "waste for him to come here and sit out all three Tests".

Ahmed, who has only played three first-class games for Leicestershire, is a highly rated young prospect and would become England's youngest men's Test debutant if he were to play in the last game in Karachi. Former captain Brian Close currently holds that record, having made his debut in 1949 against New Zealand at the age of 18 years and 149 days.

When he was named in the squad, England acknowledged Ahmed was "nowhere near the finished article" and perhaps even "four or five years off being the finished product", but insisted they "believe he can play and do a good job for us with bat and ball" if called upon during the series.

And former England seamer Jonathan Agnew believes Ahmed should be one of two changes Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum make to their team, having already sealed a historic series victory. Agnew called on England to drop frontline spinner Jack Leach, who has taken eight wickets at 57.12 this series, and hand a debut to Ahmed as well as recall wicketkeeper Ben Foakes in place of all-rounder Will Jacks.

"England already have a place in the record books, but head to Karachi for the third Test chasing another piece of history - no team has ever recorded three wins in the same Test series in Pakistan," Agnew told BBC Sport. "There is room for some tinkering with the XI.

"Foakes should come back into the team in place of Will Jacks. Ollie Pope has done well behind the stumps, but Foakes is England's number one and the best keeper in the world.

Rehan Ahmed has been tipped to make his England debut in the final Test against Pakistan in Karachi (Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

"England should also consider taking a look at Rehan Ahmed, the 18-year-old leg-spinner, at the expense of Leach. They are due to play five Tests in India next winter and will need at least one more spinner, so what better place to learn about Ahmed than on the sub-continent with a series already won?

"England know all about Leach. He bowls too many balls that good players can hit for four. If Ahmed really does have potential, it would be a waste for him to come here and sit out all three Tests."

Ahmed himself has insisted he will be ready for an opportunity if it does come his way, stating back in October : "In cricket, and in sport, you're going to have ups and downs so when your times comes, your time comes. If it comes now, I have to take it and do my best. My game is in a good place and I'm confident in my red-ball bowling."

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