Gower backs Adil Rashid to make sparkling Test comeback

Sportsbeat
·2 min read

David Gower wants to see Adil Rashid wielding a red ball for England and hopes the leg-spinner is pitched in for winter Tests against India and Sri Lanka.

The ex-England captain joined the chorus imploring coach Chris Silverwood to take the 32-year-old to the subcontinent after taking 17 white-ball wickets this summer.

Silverwood has revealed talks are ongoing to reintegrate Rashid into the five-day format and Gower threw his weight behind his potential return to the Test game.

"Adil's a very special player,” said Gower, speaking at the launch of a unique Lord’s Taverners Three Peaks Challenge, supported by Captain Sir Tom Moore.

“He's become, partly through his own desires and partly circumstances, labelled as a white-ball player. He has a very good synergy with Eoin Morgan, who understands him.

“In terms of Test cricket, there are circumstances coming up in India and Sri Lanka where leg-spin comes to the fore.

“It’s a very good move that they’re already talking about it.

“There will be negotiations going on between Joe Root and Ed Smith and the player. I do hope they’re positive and that Adil gets to play more Test cricket.”

England’s tour to Sri Lanka – delayed in the early throes of COVID-19 – was pencilled in for early 2021 and the India series could yet be switched to be staged in the UAE.

Rashid has played just one Test in 22 months but the ECB’s new white-ball deals, covering full wages, enable Ed Smith to select contracted players in any format of the game.

Thirteen of Rashid’s 19 Test appearances have been in the subcontinent and over half have come against India, who England are scheduled to play in a five-match series.

The spinner struggled on his last visit to UAE in 2015, however, taking eight wickets at 70 apiece as England were beaten 2-0 by Pakistan in a disastrous tour.

Gower, recently appointed President of Lord’s Taverners, extolled the virtues of having a leg-spinner up your sleeve in helpful conditions.

“It's a very tough thing to bowl leg-spin well,” he said.

“The standard of international cricket is very strong but what's changed over the last 20 or 30 years is that a lot of batsmen play spin better and can be more aggressive against it.

“They understand it better from the batsmen's point of view.

“Certain things have helped spinners – DRS has made a big difference in their favour – but you will get hammered at the top level if you're a poor leg-spinner.

“Adil is not a poor leg-spinner."

Lord’s Taverners President David Gower is supporting the fundraising challenge of Lloyd Scott to complete the famous 3 Peaks Challenge dressed in a 130lb deep sea diving suit starting on October 4. Visit www.lordstaverners.org to make a donation.