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With every Test Adil Rashid has matured and improved as a player Getty Images

Adil Rashid has been in exceptional form in the current Test series against India, but maybe a bit underrated. Not that I mean to be rude here, but his heroics are mostly highlighted just in the scorecard. Bowling with the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali and still managing to get these many wickets besides his name certainly deserves a credit! He made his debut in October 2015 against Pakistan and has since played just eight Tests and still has managed to make a mark for himself. But yet, he has not dwelled much in the limelight and enjoys it that way. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 3rd Test at Mohali.

His debut series was a decent one, as he managed to get eight wickets but what was alarming was the amount or runs he conceded. Maybe that was the reason he was left out against Pakistan for the four-match Test series. The turning point came almost after 10 months (long wait) when he was selected for the Bangladesh tour.

His figures were impressive (seven wickets at 29.85) but yet dubious if he would be able to emulate the same against the No. 1 Test team in their own den. But against the odds, he has performed really well. Has tormented the Indian batting on every occasion possible and has also been amongst the wickets. Rashid has taken the maximum wickets in the series so far with two Tests still to go.

What requires more praise is that even though when everyone has been lauding Jayant Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and now Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid has the maximum number of wickets this series!

He leads the list with 17 wickets and is followed by the Ashwin (12), Mohammad Shami (8), Jadeja (8) and Ben Stokes (7). Moreover, he has managed to maintain the best strike rate of 50.1, as compared to Ashwin s (73.6). Quite interesting, isn t it!

Meanwhile, he recently surpassed Australian legend Shane Warne by taking 14 wickets against India in India in the ongoing Test series. Warne, who has a mammoth tally of scalping 708 Tests wickets in his career, never succeeded in taking more than 10 wickets in India. He took 10 wickets on each of his previous visits to India which date back to 2001 and 1998.

But, Rashid went past Warne on Day Two of the second Test, when he took the wicket of Parthiv Patel. So far Rashid has taken total 18 wickets in the series which includes two four-for’s. England played against Bangladesh for two Tests and then came to India for the five-match Test series. Before this tour started, Rashid had a dismal average of 69.50 in the Indian subcontinent, which accounted from the three Tests that he played against Pakistan in UAE.

Adil Rashid's form has put Gareth Batty out of the contention    Getty Images
Adil Rashid’s form has put Gareth Batty out of the contention Getty Images

Since then, a lot has changed for Rashid as his average has come down drastically to 28.69 and to add the cherry on the cake, he has been amongst the wickets. In Bangladesh, he took a total of seven wickets at an average of 29.85. Though he was overshadowed by his spin partner Moeen Ali (11 wickets), yet was sufficient to make his mark and be a permanent member in the starting XI.

Fortunes have fared out excellently for Rashid since the time he has stepped in India. Out of the five innings that he has bowled in so far, he has finished with the figures of 4 for 114 and 3 for 64 (First Test), 2 for 110 and 4 for 82 (Second Test) and now in the third Test he has already taken another four-for.

He has not bowled exceptionally well if we see, but definitely, he has been the lynchpin for the England bowling. In this series he has been consistently overshadowed by Indian counterpart Ashwin, yes and Ashwin is every penny worth it.

But how many times do we see a foreign spinner doing so good in India in the recent times! Rashid has already sneaked past Warne and in all probability will go past another Australian, the late great Richie Benaud, who took 29 wickets in 1959-60 and 23 in 1956-57.

The striking thing about his 17 wickets so far is the majority of them have been top Indian batsmen which account’s to how lethal he has been so far in the series.

To add more to the facts, Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli and Rashid both began their cricket careers almost around the same time but the former is one of the best in business right now while Rashid had a bit of harsh luck and had to wait for his chance to come around.

Looking at his bowling performance in the ongoing series, Kohli praised him and recalled his initial confrontation with Rashid. He (Rashid) was so good in the U-19 World Cup that we thought he would be playing in the 2009 Ashes, Kohli told Times of India. Kohli perhaps wanted to refer to the youth series, which they both were a part of in 2006, where Rashid took 10 wickets and scored a hundred and a fifty in the second of the two Youth Tests, but mistakenly said about the World Cup, which Rashid never played.

Rashid has tossed up the ball whenever needed, has mixed it with the wrong ones, the googly and his main arsenal, the leg-break. He has created the angle of bowling round the stumps that gets the ball moving away from the right handed batsmen posing serious problems. And the same has happened with the left-handed ones with the ball coming in.

It has become very obvious that Alastair Cook has got a new hero here. He may not be the star player of the team who brings along with him a lot of charisma and star power (something which Stokes has been doing), but instead, he will walk through the overs, rejoice if he gets a wicket and will walk back to his fielding position putting his cap back on. Humble or down to earth, if I must say!

It can also be said that his form has actually put Gareth Batty out of the contention. Batty has not been that great that he was anytime before, but still, when you get someone back on the international tour, he should have something that counts for it.

But regardless of it, Batty just bowled 16 out of 138 overs England bowled in the first innings of the second Test. Let s not get in Batty s bowling (that can be different article altogether) but such has been the Rashid effect. Having said this, there is definitely still a lot of cricket left in this Test series and with the way Rashid is moving ahead, he appears to be setting the right foot to be one of the best and the greatest leg spinner for England.

Trevor Bayliss did call him England’s “best spinner” after Visakhapatnam Test, but maybe that is little too early to decide, but let s be optimistic and play on!

(Rohan A. Sawant is a reporter for CricketCountry. He loves Football, Cricket and is a die-hard Arsenal fan. He is an avid writer and has some knowledge about cricket and so he is trying his best to pour with his Laptop as he finds writing with pen and paper very clumsy. You can follow him on Twitter @iswandering)