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Sky Sports Cricket pundit Rob Key labelled Adil Rashid “the best spinner in the world” after his three-wicket haul against Ireland in England’s ODI series-sealing victory at the Ageas Bowl.
The leg-spinner claimed 3-34 to help keep Ireland to 212-9 in their first innings, to go with economical figures of 1-26 in the first game of the series. While Rashid only sits 29th in the ICC ODI bowling rankings, Key noted his improvement since the start of England’s tour to South Africa this year, in which Rashid took 3-51 in his only ODI appearance. He made particular reference to the extra zip the leggie is giving to the ball.
“Since South Africa this year it’s the best I’ve ever seen him bowl,” Key said. “In white-ball cricket you look for the speed that he’s bowling with, and normally Adil will bowl around 48-50 miles per hour. Here he’s getting his leg-spinner, with revs, and the googly around 52, 53. So he’s able to go up and down through the speeds which he hasn’t always been able to do. He is now really at the absolute top of his game and I can’t think of any spinner better than him in world cricket. I know you’ve got Mujeeb [Ur Rahman] Rashid Khan, people like that… I think he’s the best spinner in the world.”
Rashid has struggled in recent times with a shoulder injury, which limited his effectiveness during last summer’s World Cup triumph. He explained how the enforced break due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has helped him work on his fitness.
“It’s coming out quite nicely,” he said. “It’s been nice to actually, after the South Africa series, to get some at home to work, go to the gym, get my shoulder stronger. It’s coming out nicely so hopefully I can carry that on.”