Adil Rashid has been the point of discussion around the circles of England cricket ever since his inclusion in the England squad for the first Test. Now he is a part of the England XI which has been announced for the first Test starting today at Edgbaston.
His decision to retire from first-class cricket and then make a comeback again hasn't gone well well with many former England cricketers including Geoffrey Boycott. However, despite all the controversy surrounding Rashid, England Test skipperJoe Root has backed the leg-spinner and even has played him ahead of Moeen Ali in the first Test.
Joe Root said that he has his reasons behind selecting Rashid ahead of Moeen. "They both bring different things to the table but with the amount of right-handers we think are going to be in the Indian team, Rashid gives us a very attacking option. I'm very excited about that. He's bowling with a huge amount of confidence and is in a really good place with his game," Root said.
The England captain's decision to include Rashid in the Test team was prompted by his performance in the last ODI against India where he got 3-49, taking the wickets of Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik, all three very good players of spin. "Adil has matured a hell of a lot since he last played Test cricket and I feel his inclusion makes us a really good side that gives us the best chance of winning in these conditions," Root said.
Despite Rashid not being successful when England toured India in 2016, Root went on to say that Rashid has improved a lot and the team management has backed him on the basis of his current form.
"Rashid has gone about his business well all summer. He looks like he's bowling extremely well and hopefully he can transfer that out in the middle now," Root said.
Root concluded by saying that he was backing the inclusion of Rashid for the first Test and will be using him as an attacking option against the Indian batting line up.
"Obviously I was in favour of the selection and I think it gives us a really great attacking spinning option. In terms of the criticism, people are entitled to their opinion and can voice what they want. I probably think it's slightly unfair" Root concluded.