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Adil Rashid coy on prospect of England Test return

Adil Rashid England Test return
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read
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Speaking on Sky Sports Cricket, Adil Rashid kept his cards close to his chest when asked about the possibility of him attempting to make a return to the England Test side at some point in the future.

Rashid has long been established as England’s No.1 leg-spinner in white-ball cricket, but his attempts to crack the longest format of the game have been less successful. He has 60 wickets at an average nearing 40 from 19 Tests so far.

His last first-class game came over a year and a half ago, in the Caribbean for England, with Rashid and his county club Yorkshire having clashed heads in the past over the subject of his County Championship availability.

However, several pundits have noted how, in their view, Rashid has never bowled better in coloured clothing for England, with Sky Sports Cricket commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd labelling the Bradford-born bowler “a must for the Test team” back in February, ahead of England’s postponed series in Sri Lanka.

While the leggie wasn’t selected for that tour, with England set to play five Tests in India early next year, Rashid could yet come back into contention. He claimed more than twice as many wickets as any other England bowler on their last tour there in 2016, and though his wickets cost 37.43 apiece in a 4-0 defeat, he did claim four four-wicket hauls. He has since continued his form, taking four wickets to help England claim an unassailable 2-0 lead over Ireland in the ODI series between the sides.

However, when asked about his ambitions in the game, Rashid responded coyly. “I don’t really like to set any goals in that sense, like ‘I wanna hit this many wickets or win this many games’,” he said. “For me it’s taking it a day at a time, a game at a time. The main focus is to work on my variations and never stop learning, I always look to get better. I don’t really look too far ahead so I’m looking to take it a game at a time and see where it takes me.”

When then asked straight up by Sky Sports Cricket commentator Rob Key whether he might be tempted to play Test cricket again, Rashid flat-batted the question once more.

“I reckon that’s, you know… who knows Keysy? You might know!”

Not a yes then, but also very much not a no.

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