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

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Cricket - By Tim Wig­more

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.

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