'You'd be slightly mad if you didn't give them more opportunities' - Brendon McCullum appeals for Hartley, Bashir's county call-up

Having participated in all four Test matches of the series so far, left-arm spinner Tom Hartley is now the series' leading wicket-taker with 20 wickets to his name.

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Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir.
Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir. (Photo Source: Twitter)

England head coach, Brendon McCullum, stated that it would be "slight frustration" of theirs if Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir don't get adequate chances to hone themselves following their breakthrough tour of India. Hartley and Bashir have been two bright spots despite India taking an unassailable 3-1 lead against the Ben Stokes-led side, after winning the fourth Test in Ranchi. 

Hartley, who has participated in all four Test matches, now stands as the leading wicket-taker of the series, having claimed 20 wickets. Off-spinner Bashir, on the other hand, has picked up 12 wickets in the series in the two matches he's featured in so far. In addition, both have claimed a five-wicket haul apiece on this tour.

"It will be a slight frustration of ours if they weren't given opportunities at County level. There's a very real possibility that might be the case, but without wanting to dictate to counties because they have their own agendas as well, when you see performances like we have out of those two bowlers throughout the series, I think you'd be slightly mad if you didn't give them more opportunities in county cricket," McCullum was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Also read: 'When it doesn't pay off, people say we're not ruthless' - Ben Stokes rattled by comments on Bazball failure in India

The legendary New Zealand cricketer continued by expressing his belief that the two will earn various opportunities, either in the County Championship or for the national side. Despite the series loss, the coach was impressed with both players' performance throughout the series.

"It would be nice to think they'd get plenty of opportunities so that they can improve at a quicker rate. Whether those opportunities are with counties or with England, I think we've just got to keep trying to get cricket into them. Whatever opportunity we can, we'll try and give it to them because these two guys are more than good enough for international cricket. They're also tough characters."

"What you can't tell from the outside of a man's body is the size of their heart - and we've seen both of them have big hearts and they're up for international cricket. It doesn't get any harder than it is right now, and they've both stood up and performed, so we've just to keep giving both of them chances," he added.

Also read: IND vs ENG: Brendon McCullum adds mystery to Ben Stokes’ bowling fitness

In addition, McCullum proposed that clubs create surfaces that promote turn more as a type of a workaround, which he feels will improve the skill sets of players as well as increase entertainment value. 

"As much as England's about playing on good wickets and having the ball move off the seam, it should also be about playing on spinning wickets too. If we lived in a world where we could have both Bash and Leachy able to operate in spinning conditions at Somerset, and Hartley and Lyon could bowl together at Lancashire, I think that would be a great viewing point for spectators," the 42-year-old further said. 

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