Edgbaston: Dubbed a ‘spoilt brat’ by former captain Geoffrey Boycott, ‘who should talk less and bowl more’, spinner Adil Rashid has been named in the England squad that will face India in the first test match which begins at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Rashid’s selection as a sole spinner for the Test series has caused a stir given his lack of red-ball cricket in recent months. The opinion is also polarised due to his refusal to play four-day cricket for Yorkshire this year. “In two years England have gone around in a circle. By picking Adil Rashid, they are selecting the unselectable: a player who will not play four-day Championship cricket for Yorkshire because his heart isn’t in it but he will play for England in Test Matches. Absurd? Yes.” Earlier, he was lampooned for the call-up by former skipper Michael Vaughan.
However, current skipper Joe Root feels differently. “With the amount of right handers in India’s team, Rashid gives us a really attacking spinning option and he’s in confident form. He’s gone about his business just as he does in the one-day side, he doesn’t seem affected at all. I’ve known Adil for a long time. I think he’s grown as a player massively in the last couple of years, he has a better understanding of what he wants to do.”
Boycott said in his column that England need to show the same intensity they had showed in the third ODI at Headingley. “Test matches tend to fluctuate. Sometimes they are on a knife’s edge and it is about character and mental toughness, so getting on top early helps all players gain confidence and allow people to relax and express themselves,” Boycott, who recently underwent a heart surgery, said. “It is better that England get ahead early rather than having to come from behind and play catch-up cricket like we did against Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia. That is the key to it all.”