London : In-form leg-spinner Adil Rashid was on Thursday recalled to the 13-man England squad for the opening Test against India despite his stated intent of concentrating on white ball cricket in February.
Essex seamer Jamie Porter also earned his maiden call-up for his consistent performances for the county and England Lions (A) over the past few seasons. He played a key role in Essex’s County triumph in 2017 and was awarded with the ‘Player of the Year’ trophy.
However Rashid’s much publicised return, having last played a Test match in December 2016 against India at Chennai, happened due to his recent exploits in ODIs where he got 20 wickets against Australia and India at an average of 23.95.
If selected, Rashid, who signed a white-ball only deal with Yorkshire in February, will play his first Test in England having earned his previous 10 away from home. “Clearly, the one-off circumstances around Adil’s return to the Test squad are unusual. However, the selection panel was unanimous in believing that Adil should be selected in England’s squad,” national selector Ed Smith said in a press release.
“Adil Rashid also returns to the England Test squad. Before the selection meeting, Adil had confirmed his availability to play Test cricket for England for whole of this summer and the upcoming winter tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies,” Smith added.
Rashid’s selection is a topic of debate became evident by the statement of Yorkshire CEO Mark Arthur. “We are very surprised that England have called Adil up after not playing red ball cricket this season. Neither has he expressed a desire to do so. I hope that England know what they’re doing to Adil, and the county game.”
Having decided to quit red-ball cricket for good, Rashid admitted that it was a “tough decision” to make himself available for England in Tests in what can be termed as a “surprise” recall.
“It was definitely a tough decision and obviously I was kind of surprised because to get back in the Test side usually people have to go back to your county and perform to be considered,” he told Sky Sports News.
“After the ODIs there was a discussion that me and Ed [selector Ed Smith] had, just regarding – you know – how you feel about playing, or being part of the squad, this summer against India.
“So obviously I had to think about it, considering I hadn’t played red-ball game for a little while.”
Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes.