Rashid needs red-ball cricket before a Test return, says Silverwood
England coach will not close door on spinner before Ashes Earlier starts and pink ball welcomed as possible changes
Chris Silverwood, the England head coach, has said that he would like Adil Rashid to return to playing first-class cricket for Yorkshire if he is to come back into the Test squad.
The Daily Telegraph revealed this week that England were hopeful that Rashid would add to his 19 Test caps after the leg-spinner’s fine form in recent one-day internationals. Rashid has a white-ball central contract with England and is not playing in the Bob Willis Trophy for Yorkshire as he manages an issue in his right shoulder.
But England would like Rashid to be available in the future – if not for this winter’s Test tours of Sri Lanka and India, then during next summer and in the Ashes tour in 2021-22. Rashid has said the Ashes series could be a target for him.
“I don’t want to close the door on anyone,” Silverwood said. “In Rash’s case, I’d like to see him play some red-ball cricket. He is coming off the back of a shoulder injury and I’d like to see him play the longer form to make sure his body is capable of holding up.”
As England turn their attention to the final Test against Pakistan, which begins tomorrow, the poor weather could yet mean that the pitch for the second Test is reused. No preparation on the new pitch was done yesterday due to weather. If the pitch from the second Test has to be reused, it would place a huge premium on winning the toss and batting first.
After the second Test was marred by rain and bad light, with just 134.3 overs of play over the five days, Silverwood suggested that playing with a lighter red colour ball could help to make playing during darker conditions possible.
“There’s a lot of chat about possible solutions,” he said. “A possible change in the colour of ball. Whether pink is the answer, I’m not sure, but could we use a lighter shade of red instead of the dark reds that bowlers look at because they swing more?”
Silverwood also suggested moving subsequent days of play to start at 10.30am if play in the Test had been lost. The England and Wales Cricket Board is set to bring in the change for the final Test. “The earlier start time makes a lot of sense to me,” he said. “Could we
Ashes target: Adil Rashid has played 19 Tests for England also get to a stage when floodlights offer a minimum standard of light?”
With more rain forecast at Southampton during the third Test, Silverwood admitted that omitting spinner Dom Bess – who has not bowled in three of England’s past five innings – and picking a fiveman seam attack was a possibility. “It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve gone in with an all-seam attack, so it’s something we will consider.”
Silverwood said that it had been “very difficult” to combine planning for the future with trying to win this summer as England juggle their pace attack.
They began the summer controversially omitting Stuart Broad, playing Jofra Archer and Mark Wood. Broad has been in fantastic form since, while James Anderson responded impressively to criticism during the truncated second Test against Pakistan. England have identified building a varied attack
as crucial as they build towards the next Ashes tour, which begins in November 2021.
“It’s very difficult,” Silverwood said. “You look at what you need for the here and now and you look down the line for what we potentially need [in Australia]. It’s a difficult balance to get.
“At the same time, when I look at the team we picked last time, there were a lot of young lads that are potentially going to feature in the Ashes as well. We are building for the future, not just from a bowling point of view but from a holistic point of view. If you’ve got that group of players, you can choose from them who gives you the best opportunity to win the game in front of you.”
Looking to the final Test of the summer, Silverwood said that “all options are on the table”. After the abridged second Test, the seam bowlers who have played both the first two Tests – Anderson, Broad and Chris Woakes – are unlikely to need a rest.