Liam Dawson factfile: What links Shahid Afridi and Kevin Pietersen to uncapped spinner?
By Oli Burley
Last Updated: 30/11/16 1:17pm
Liam Dawson has been called into England's squad for the final two Tests of the series against India in place of Zafar Ansari.
So who is the uncapped Hampshire all-rounder? Here's what you need to know…
Born: Swindon, Wiltshire
Loves: Darts & Southampton FC
He shares his birthday - March 1 - with Shahid Afridi…
…and has much to live up to if he's to match the Pakistan all-rounder's Test debut - 'Boom Boom' bagging 5-52 against Australia in the second Test at Karachi, in 1998. Afridi also opened in that Test but even given England's revolving door at the top of the order, don't expect Daws to be striding out alongside Alastair Cook any time soon. That might just be Keaton Jennings' job.
As connections go, that's pretty tenuous...
...ok. How about this? Daws and 'Boom Boom' are currently team-mates in the Bangladesh Premier League, where they proudly turn out for Rangpur Riders - although on this very day the two have been unable to save the outfit from defeat to Dhaka Dynamites, who are currently lighting things up at the top of the table. Neither claimed a wicket in the match but Dawson's 11 did at least beat Afridi's second-ball duck.
Why does Kevin Pietersen spring to mind…?
Back in August 2012, Pietersen was dismissed first ball by Dawson on his return to competitive cricket after being dropped from the England Test team. Earlier in the season Dawson removed the Surrey batsman for a golden duck in T20 cricket.
So why has Dawson been picked now?
The Hampshire all-rounder has been on the fringes for some time and forced his way into the Lions programme this winter before being released to play for Rangpur Riders. Now he has been called up to replace Surrey's Zafar Ansari, who is still struggling with the back injury he sustained in the second Test defeat in Visakhapatnam.
Does he deserve a shot after taking just 20 first-class wickets in 2016?
Tricky one that - let's leave the answer to Michael Atherton: "It's not a particularly merit-based selection - it's just a hunch from the selectors that he's the right man to replace Ansari. He got around 20 wickets last year in first-class cricket at an average of over 40. I know he impressed the coaches in the UAE last winter on the Lions trip and that's why he got his chance last summer but in terms of first-class bowling you'd have to say he's a touch fortunate over someone like Jack Leach. The other thing is England probably want someone who offers them an all-round option."
But I'm sure I've seen him in international colours before?
Of course you have! Dawson made his ODI and T20 debuts for England last summer after impressing on last winter's Lions programme in the UAE - playing one game in each format. A return of 3-27 against Sri Lanka in England's eight-wicket T20 win over Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl was very handy.
Dawson did get a hit against Pakistan in the fifth ODI at Cardiff in September, scoring 10 off 13 balls before falling to Mohammad Amir, but his bowling took a bit of a battering. That said, his return of 2-70 off eight overs did include the scalps of Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik.
Didn't he have some international pedigree before then?
Sure - a former England Under-19 captain - Dawson's slow left-arm ripped through Malaysia's line-up in 2007, earning figures of 6-9. The following season he scored his maiden first-class century, against Nottinghamshire, becoming the youngest player to score a hundred for the county in the process.
Watch the fourth and fifth Tests between India and England live on Sky Sports, starting with the fourth Test from 3.30am on Sky Sports 2 on December 8.