adil-rashuid

Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels that Adil Rashid should not be fast-tracked in to the Test set up after the 30-year-old leg spinner turned his back on the longer format – having been left out of England’s Ashes squad earlier this year – to concentrate on white-ball cricket.

In Hussain’s opinion, Rashid should play in the ongoing County Championship first and show results to be picked for the Tests, “ If he wants to play Test cricket again, he needs to turn out in the County Championship. If he does that, and becomes a candidate later in the summer, fine. Let’s face it, England are not good enough to discard anyone.” wrote the 50-year-old in his column for The Daily Mail.

Rashid was the leading wicket-taker in the one-day and Twenty20 internationals for England this summer, with 25 victims, including Virat Kohli at Headingley in the third ODI with a sharply-turning delivery that left India’s captain awestruck. And that superb delivery fuelled the talks of his inclusion in the Test squad.

But Hussain warned the selectors that they should not  get themselves in a tangle over the spin issue and should stick to their two men identified as the best frontline spinners in the country.

“Rashid might have made himself available for England’s first Test against India but I’d warn Ed Smith and his selection panel not to get themselves in a tangle over the spin issue,” he said adding, “ Jack Leach and Dominic Bess, the two men identified by the selectors as the best frontline spinners in the country, need to be treated properly. I don’t think it would be a great statement to tell those lads — Leach in particular — that there has been a rethink and England are going back down another road.”

He went on to add that Leach should be in the playing XI for the first Test and also advocated the inclusion of Moeen Ali  in the squad considering his recent form in the limited-overs format and how well Ali bowled against India in 2014.

“Look at Moeen’s record against India last time they were here four years ago, when he took 19 wickets at 23 runs apiece, or versus South Africa last summer when he claimed 25 at 15.64, and it tells you that he is a very good bet in England. With the Edgbaston pitch expected to be dry, I would include Moeen as the second spinner.”

Hussain, who led England 45 times in Tests, also reckoned that Ali would be an ideal replacement for Ben Stokes for the second Test. Stokes will miss the Lord’s Test due to clash of dates with the Bristol scuffle court hearing.

“England will certainly need him in the second Test because Ben Stokes is not available for Lord’s and Mo will give them that one-and-a-half spinner option plus the batting to cover the loss of their premier all-rounder,” he added.