HomeBCCIWhy Adil Rashid's Test return is raising eyebrows?

Why Adil Rashid’s Test return is raising eyebrows?

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India tour of England 2018

Curiosity killed the cat!
Ever heard that idiom? You may have. Literal meaning suggests that by being too curious about other people’s affairs, can land one into trouble.
But from an English perspective, this curiosity surrounding Adil Rashid- slated to feature in the First Test against India- isn’t misplaced. Although, it’s hugely surprising.

Wasn’t Rashid just a “white-ball” cricketer?

Surely, while Adil Rashid’s sudden return- expedient that it may sound- can be debated endlessly and can even lead to bitter fallouts among friends, it won’t kill anyone.
But what about Adil Rashid’s commitment to his club Yorkshire?
It was in February, that he’d informed his main stable after English national duties that he’d want to focus purely on white-ball cricket.

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Here’s a statement from the wrist-spinner

“At this moment in my career, I just feel that white-ball cricket is where I am best and where I feel I can develop and offer a lot more.”
Having said that, Rashid continued to focus only on the ODIs. In addition, he’d commit himself to T20s. And his decision, howsoever confusing it may sound right now given the announcement to battle India in Tests seemed to be working.

There’s no doubt Adil Rashid’s prominence in white-ball cricket

Of his 113 ODI scalps, 36 alone have come in 2018. During this period, he didn’t know what was a Test match.
Ditto for the year before.
In 2017, Adil Rashid picked 26 wickets. This also included his premier spin performance- that 5 for 27 against Ireland which Eoin Morgan hailed as “magnificent.”
In both these years, Rashid’s bowling average- the central tenet to understanding a bowler’s prowess- was incredible. He wouldn’t be creamed for runs.
He wasn’t the cricket’s version of a cash cow you’d milk to extract easy runs. In both 2017 and 2018, Rashid bowled at a phenomenal 25 and 28 respectively.
Would you call these poor figures in a modern game, skewed toward batsmen?
But well, in a news that won’t make any heads turn nor excite aliens into trying the sport- Test Cricket isn’t white-ball cricket.
Probably, Adil Rashid has known this all the while and hasn’t had to look up rulebooks.

So why now has the leggie chosen to resume Tests?

Whether this is a temporary arrangement or start of a constant phenomenon for posterity, one doesn’t know.
What one does know is that only one logical claim seems to justify the man’s decision. Mind you, this is a call that’s already been lambasted by former captain Michael Vaughan, who called in ‘ridiculous’.
The majority of 10 Tests- all the 5-day contests that Rashid’s played- have come against India. Probably, that could justify solely the sudden resumption of Adil Rashid in the longest format.

Rashid last played a Test vs India

But if you were to tread on these lines, you’d also discover that the last Adil Rashid featured in a contest- which was in 2016- he played against India.
He bowled to the same enterprising lot in India back then who’ll be squaring off against now.
There’s going to be Kohli along with Pujara, Dhawan, Rahane and probably, KL Rahul.
The only thing that’s changed is that there’s probably going to be Dinesh Karthik over and above Rahul, that Rashid might be bowling to.
While in 2014, India struggled against pace, swing, reverse-swing both being their malaise, the current pitches, as seen in the ODIs that India lost but Kuldeep Yadav won may have prompted the odd English decision.
But is Kuldeep Yadav’s prominence and massive purchase from spin-friendly tracks that has pushed England to bring back Rashid?
Probably, this is a mystery akin to the mystery ball that Adil Rashid bowled, getting the better of Virat Kohli.
It’s a query that Scotland Yard may not solve this season.
So far, the only thing that can be said about this turn of things is that the move has probably united India and Yorkshire. They both might be scratching their heads?

Is he in the side because England isn’t confident about its bowling?

Could Rashid’s inclusion also be owing to the fact that Jimmy Anderson is ageing? And if yes, that’s probably the stupidest thing ever.
Everything in our world is underpinned by faith. England have in James Anderson what the Queen has in MI6 (British Secret Service) in the event of a near-fatal danger.
Faith, what else? Involving a talented spinner, who’s a white-ball specialist but a ‘failure’ in Tests, where commentators like Sanjay Manjrekar are concerned would be undermining Anderson. England won’t do that harakiri.
At the same time, the move indicates the immensity of seriousness with which Joe Root’s outfit is determined to thwart any chances of an Indian supremacy on their dominion.
The Edgbaston Test begins August 1. However, the Test for Adil Rashid began a few hours ago where cricket media worldwide was bombarded by the news of the 30-year-old’s return.
There’s little doubt that the right-arm spinner has the blessings of those at the ECB. But, of course. But should he fail in the series, what’ll Yorkshire do?

How would Yorkshire revert to Rashid?

With Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and the usual icons- Anderson and Broad- are already in the squad.
But all that said, while some might call the decision blue-sky thinking of sorts and even pragmatic, there’s reason to believe Rashid would start rusty.
Wondering how? In his last Test appearance, at Chennai, that yielded a huge innings win for India, England was hammered, to say the least.
Moreover, Rashid went for 153 of the 759 that Kohli’s brigade plundered. At the same time, the only wicket he took was of the man who scored 199, the most in the contest.
So is KL Rahul, a veteran of 38 red-ball innings the reason to bring back Rashid?
For now, this decision seems as funny as the exciting prospect of hoping to emerge free of any woes or blows to one’s health whilst willingly getting drenched in a heavy downpour during peak monsoons.
Now that the cat is out of the bag- who’s more curious? The fan or the Indian team?
English squad:
Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes.

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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