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England's Rashid ready to open bowling again

AFP/Ahmedabad
Filed on March 13, 2021
England's Adil Rashid (right) delivers a ball during a training session. — AFP

The leg-spinner celebrated Kohli’s prized scalp in just the third over of the match

Spinner Adil Rashid on Saturday said he is ready to open the bowling again after England’s big Twenty20 win against India, but brushed aside talk of a Test return.

Rashid dismissed India skipper Virat Kohli for a duck on Friday after being given the new ball as England thrashed India by eight wickets in the first of the five T20 matches in Ahmedabad.

The leg-spinner celebrated Kohli’s prized scalp in just the third over of the match with the batsman caught at mid-off for his third duck in his last five international innings.

“Bowling with the new ball is something new for me, something I’d been working on for the past couple of days,” Rashid told reporters.

“Hopefully, something I can do again depending on the game situation. First six overs, middle overs or death - I’m always looking to develop and work hard.”

Opening the bowling for a spinner is becoming more common in the modern game, especially on sub-continent pitches that aid turn.

Rashid, 33, did experiment with the tactic 10 years ago and insists he will hone the skill with the T20 World Cup taking place in India in October and November.

“Bowling with the new ball, two fielders out, you’ve got to be clever. I did it back in 2010 in Big Bash and for Yorkshire as well,” he said.

“So I had a bit of an experience then. It’s definitely a different experience now as well. Something that I will cherish and something that I will keep in my armoury as well.”

But the veteran bowler said making a Test comeback is not on the cards, even in an Ashes year, after a shoulder injury in 2019 forced him to stay away from the five-day format.

“It’s not actually crossed my mind,” said Rashid, who last played a Test in January 2019. “At the moment, I’m enjoying playing white ball cricket, concentrating on doing what I’m doing.”

England have a busy year with up to 17 Tests including the Ashes series.

Opener Jason Roy smashed 49 in England’s quick chase of 125 in the T20 opener and later credited facing Rashid’s leg spin in the nets for getting battle-ready.

Rashid said bowling to Roy in the nets worked well for both players.

“For myself, it was more of me bowling with the new ball, and giving him confidence facing a spinner with the new ball,” said Rashid. “So it worked hand in hand.”

The second match of the series is on Sunday.





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