RASHID: I CAN STILL DO A JOB...
Spinner confident he can help Three Lions
The success of the national team against South Africa has eased some of the pain of the semi-final Champions Trophy exit for a player who still harbours ambitions in the Test arena to go with continuing white-ball contributions How disappointing was it to not go on and win the Champions Trophy after such a good start to the tournament?
Adil Rashid: Yes, it was disappointing as we played exceptionally well and we had a very good and strong squad with matchwinners in every department. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t our day in the semi-final but credit to Pakistan who outplayed us and were better than us in every department. There was a lot to learn from that defeat and, hopefully, in a similar scenario next time around, we can put up a better performance. At the Champions Trophy, you once again showed that you are not a one-trick pony and bowled very well in the batsman-dominated ODI format.
AR: Yes, that’s something I have been working hard on in white-ball cricket, knowing the game plans, knowing how to bowl in various situations and working on setting batsmen up. I’ve been working on my field-settings in the shorter formats also and it’s been going quite well. For a while, many critics saw you just as a bowler who was suited to the longer formats. Is that a tag you wanted to remove?
AR: I have never really wanted to be a cricketer who was seen as a one-trick pony. I have always seen myself as a bowler who can perform and do well in any format and in any situation and someone who can take wickets in any type of cricket. I’m not in the England Test squad at the moment so my focus is on white-ball cricket and performing in that format and let’s see what happens in future. How impressed were you with Moeen Ali during the recently concluded Test series against South Africa?
AR: I’ve been really impressed and I always knew that he had that level of performance in him. He’s a matchwinner with either the bat or the ball and he’s proven that in the past and he’s shown that since he came into the England team. He’s developed his game a lot since he came into international cricket, he’s improved his batting and his bowling and, hopefully, he can continue doing that. His resurgence as a bowler is potentially bad news for you though?
AR: Not really. I’m happy for him as Moeen and myself are very close friends. I’m delighted for him and I hope that he can carry that on and put in the performances with both the bat and the ball. Do you think there is room for you and Moeen to play in the same England team?
AR: Yes, I think the potential is there. We have done it in the past and there is no doubt in my mind that it can work. There were a few winter series in India, Bangladesh and in UAE against Pakistan and we both played in those series and I hope there will be chances for this to happen in future. Obviously it depends on the conditions and the state of the pitch and who the opposition is and the location. I’m still confident that I can play Test cricket for England and do a good job. What’s it been like working with Saqlain Mushtaq and what’s his advice been for you?
AR: He is very knowledgeable and he knows a lot about the game. He’s helped both Moeen and myself tremendously. He’s focused with more on the mental side of the game, ball trajectory, the pace I should bowl at in different conditions, ball repetition, working out the opposition batsmen and how important practice is ahead of a match.
You are 29 now and at a point where you surely want to be a regular pick in international cricket?
AR: Yes, that’s true, but over the past two years I’ve been playing quite a bit of white-ball international cricket and I hope to carry that on. I’m fairly confident that I can keep that going but, yes, my aim is also to play Test cricket and I’ve got to make sure that I put in the performances for Yorkshire and hopefully get my chance again in the five-day format. Do you think you are at a key stage of your career?
AR: I think every stage of your career is key and you are always learning.You go through various phases in your career, highs and lows and have to take the rough with the smooth. I don’t think any stage in your career can be earmarked as a key stage and you just have to live in the moment, play in the present and not look too far into the future or too deeply into the past. What’s it been like to have Sarfraz Ahmed at Yorkshire. Did he remind
I’ve never wanted to be seen as a one-trick pony. I have always seen myself as someone who can perform and do well in any type of cricket
you about the Champions Trophy semi-final?
AR: Yes, we’ve had a few friendly chats and he’s reminded me about the Champions Trophy result a couple of times. He’s been very good for us and he’s got a lot of knowledge about the game and he’s been passing that onto all of his team-mates.
Does anything faze Joe Root, he just seems to take everything in his stride?
AR: He’s already shown that he was the right choice as captain against one of the best teams in the world, South Africa. Captaincy didn’t affect his batting at all, he was as good in the Tests as he has ever been. He’s a clever cricketer and very switched on regarding who to bowl and when to bowl them. He’s the right choice as England captain and, hopefully, he can carry that on as captain and with the bat.
We are seeing a resurgence in young leg-spinners around the world, that must be heartening?
AR: Yes, there are some fine young leg-spinners showing their credentials. Shadab Khan from Pakistan, Mason Crane for Hampshire and Matthew Parkinson at Lancashire all look very promising. There are many others who are doing well especially in the shorter formats. Having a leg-spinner in your team is a big weapon. Sometimes things do not go well for leg-spinners but that’s just part of cricket but they are matchwinners and sometimes they can turn a match on its head. A good leg-spinner will be tough for the batsmen especially if they have all the variations.
Testing times: Adil Rashid sees no reason why he and Moeen Ali cannot play in the same England test team in future
Shining with bat and ball: Moeen Ali has been a matchwinner
Unfazed: Joe Root’s form has not been affected by England captaincy