London: In-form leg-spinner Adil Rashid was today recalled to the 13-man England squad for the opening Test against India despite his stated intent of concentrating on white ball cricket this 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.
“Following his earlier decision in February 2018, Adil has a white-ball only contract to play for Yorkshire this summer. That arrangement is unchanged by his selection for England. However, Adil fully understands that if he wishes to be eligible for Test cricket in the 2019 season, he must have a county contract to play four-day cricket. Moving forward, England Test players must be committed to the county championship,” Smith added.
That 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 knows what they’re doing to Adil, and the county game.”
Worcestershire’s Moeen Ali also returned to the squad for the first time since the tour of New Zealand. However, Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes has not been picked as he is yet to recover from his recent thigh and knee injury.
“The selection panel felt that Chris Woakes needed a little more time to regain full form. We are keen to avoid rushing him back from injury too soon. Chris will combine playing for Warwickshire in T20s alongside building up red ball fitness and workload with the England coaches.”
Squad: 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.