Adil-Rashid played five ODIs and five T20 Internationals for England    Getty Images (File Picture)
Adil-Rashid played five ODIs and five T20 Internationals for England Getty Images (File Picture)

By Saj Sadiq

Born in Bradford, 26 year old Adil Rashid’s international chances have been limited to five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and five T20 Internationals (T20I) where he’s picked up six wickets in total. Whilst his international career may have been on hold since November 2009 when he last represented England on the tour of South Africa, he continues to make good progress on behalf of Yorkshire in the domestic circuit. In the current season, he has so far picked up 36 wickets in the LV County Championship with best figures of five for 117. He has an equally impressive record in the NatWest t20 Blast where he took 14 wickets in 11 matches whilst in the Royal London One Day competition, Rashid is the leading wicket taker with 21 wickets from nine games at an impressive economy rate of 4.71.

Speaking exclusively with PakPassion.net, Rashid talked about his impressive form for Yorkshire in the current season, how a change of approach has helped his confidence and also spoke of his aspirations to play more international cricket in future.

Excerpts from an interview:

PakPassion.net (PP): Yorkshire are sitting pretty at the top of the County Championship and you are in good form yourself. You must be happy with life at the moment?

Adil Rashid AR (AR): Yes absolutely, things are going well. We ve played very well as a team this season. All of the bowlers have done what s been required of them and put the ball in the right areas and we’ve got wickets and our batting unit has put the runs on the board. Hopefully we can continue the good form and kick on for the last few games of the season.

PP : What s it like working with Jason Gillespie?

AR : He s been brilliant for me. He s got the experience of playing with some of the world s best like Shane Warne and he knows a lot about leg spin bowling having spent a lot of time with Warne during his career.

He understands the mentality of leg-spinners and understands the difficulties that leg-spinners face and what makes them click. He knows that sometimes leg-spinners will have bad days when things won t click but he s encouraged me a lot and told me to just look to spin the ball a lot and to be aggressive.

PP : Do you feel that perhaps you went through a phase in your career where you d become a defensive leg-spinner instead of looking to take wickets?

AR : Well Jason (Gillespie) has helped me a lot in this regard as he has told me to just let the ball rip out of my hand and to not worry about going for runs. There were a couple of years when I wasn t at my best and possibly didn t develop my game as much as I could have. I had a defensive mindset and I was more worried about not conceding runs than taking wickets. I was basically just going through the motions instead of looking to attack. However the last two seasons have seen my mindset change and I’m now once again looking to be the attacking cricketer I always wanted to be. The attacking approach has made the difference to my bowling.

Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale also deserve credit for helping me and have also just told me to concentrate on taking wickets and that being the priority instead of trying to stop the opposition from scoring.

PP : The restored confidence seems to have boosted your batting form also?

AR : Yes definitely. I ve been given additional responsibility in the batting order and that has helped me. I m enjoying that challenge and I ve been working very hard on my batting. When I first came into the Yorkshire side I was regarded as an all rounder in fact batting was probably my stronger suit but then my batting fell away a little but I m delighted that I ve been able to contribute with both bat and ball for Yorkshire this season.

PP : Only ten international appearances so far, a statistic that perhaps frustrates you?

AR : I don t think it s frustrating or disappointing. I enjoyed my chances for England and I was only young when I played for them. I learnt a lot from international cricket and hopefully get more chances to play for England may come in future.

PP : Your name is being mentioned for a recall to the England side. Is it something you ve thought about?

AR : It s nice to be mentioned and it s a boost for my confidence but I don t look too far into the future. It s always nice to hear compliments but at this moment I d rather concentrate on achieving my goals for Yorkshire and to really improve my all round game and to fine tune my skills as a cricketer.

PP : Whilst you say that you aren t looking too far into the future, the desire to play for England must surely still be there?

AR : Absolutely. Everyone wants to play for their country. My ambition is to play for England again. I hope the chance comes but if it doesn t then there isn t much I can do about it and I won t lose sleep over the fact that I m not playing for England.

A few years ago I would have looked at the situation differently but I ve matured now and I look upon these things differently and my focus at the moment is to play well for Yorkshire and to perform consistently for them.

PP : Do you feel that you are reaching your peak as a leg-spinner?

AR : I don t think I m that far off. I m heading in that direction but I feel I ve got a lot to learn yet, particularly on some of my varieties as a bowler and my bowling on less helpful pitches. I m learning my trade and I feel that as a leg-spinner you are always learning right up to your retirement. It s an art that I think you can never perfect.

PP : There have been several bowlers who have been called for illegal bowling actions, your thoughts on modern day spin bowling actions?

AR : I think the Doosra can be bowled legally. Saqlain Mushtaq proved that and there was no kink in his action. However as time has gone on, some bowlers have perhaps developed kinks in their bowling arm. Deliveries such as the Doosra are great for the game of cricket, the more varieties bowlers can have, the more interesting cricket becomes.

Doosras and other varieties bring excitement to the game, it brings an edge and a spark to the game. As a member of the spinner s union I may sound biased but deliveries such as the Doosra are needed in cricket.

(Saj Sadiq is Senior Editor at PakPassion.net, from where the above article has been reproduced. He can be followed on Twitter at @Saj_PakPassion)