Keaton Jennings (left) and Liam Dawson © Getty Images
Keaton Jennings (left) and Liam Dawson © Getty Images

Adding further irony to England’s plight on the tour of India, Liam Dawson was stumped for 11 playing for Rangpur Riders against the Dhaka Dynamites in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), just around the time when it was announced that he has been handed out a national call-up. Dawson, who has played an ODI and a T20I for England earlier this year, was named as one of the replacements for the injured Haseeb Hameed and Zafar Ansari along with the young Keaton Jennings. The two players will be a part of the English scheme of things for the final two Tests, which will be played at Mumbai and Chennai. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England, 4th Test at Mumbai

Generally, England are a competitive Test side and have enjoyed dominating India in their past few meetings, but times have changed. They have suffered two Test defeats on the trot — six so far in the year — and are staring blank at series defeat. India currently lead the five-Test series 2-0 having outplayed England in the second and third Tests at Visakhapatnam and Mohali respectively. England have looked spineless, and their batsmen have struggled on decent wickets for batting against extremely disciplined Indian spinners. To stem the rot, England have now called upon two young and inexperienced cricketers to help them put up some fight. Let us take a look at the new English recruits for the final two Tests of the India tour:

Liam Dawson: He remained a member of the English side that played the final of ICC World T20 2016 earlier this year, but his T20I debut came against Sri Lanka at Southampton. Dawson made his ODI debut against Pakistan at Cardiff in September. He does not present a compelling case for selection, and perhaps his local knowledge that he has gathered playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) has helped him win a spot ahead of another spinner who has better numbers.

Dawson, an all-rounder from Hampshire, is more of a batsman. In 117 First-Class matches, he has scored 5,809 runs so far with 8 centuries and 31 fifties at 34.17. His bowling figures, however, are dismal with mere 130 wickets at 37.47 apiece. Despite this, Dawson managed to trump Somerset spinner Jack Leach — the second highest wicket-taker in this season with 65 wickets in 15 matches at 21.87. Dawson, on his part, grabbed mere 20 wickets in 12 matches at a poor 43.85.

The reason why Dawson has been selected is perhaps the fact that he has spent a very long time in Bangladesh playing a competitive white-ball tournament, having completely acclimatised to the local conditions. But then, Dawson has not done wonders in BPL either. In 10 matches so far, he has made mere 104 runs at 17.33 with a highest of 46. The wicket column looks unimpressive as well, with mere 5 wickets in the tournament so far.

Dawson is considered a ‘better batsman’ and the English management is happy with his attitude as well, reports ESPNCricnfo. He is one of the disciplined spinners and perhaps England would be looking to draft in someone who can chip in with the bat and down disciplined line and lengths.

Keaton Jennings: The son of former South Africa and IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) coach Ray Jennings, Keaton now has the chance of making Test debut right after playing a match for England Lions. Jennings is expected to arrive in India next week to join the national side.

The 24-year-old left-handed Jennings has earned his national call-up. He top scored for Durham with 1,548 runs in 16 matches of the County Championship Division One 2016. He struck 7 centuries and two fifties and scored at an average of 64.50, which is the best among any batsman. Jennings was named the ‘County Championship Player of the Year’ by the Cricket Writers’ Club for his performances with the bat.

Jennings captained South Africa Under-19 in 2011 to England tour, and had made his First-Class debut for Gauteng against Free State in the same year. His mother hails from Sunderland, and Jennings has qualified to play for England serving a four-year period with Durham. Proving his loyalty to the club in toughest of times, Jennings has decided to stay on at the club for another year even though they have been relegated.

Keeping in mind the troubles England have had with their batsmen and a series defeat looming large, it will not be an outright wrong idea to play the youngster in the India series. Having lost Hameed to injury, England are left with Ben Duckett in their ranks, who has been in a poor form.

(Devarchit Varma is a senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)