Sunday, February 25, 2024

Adil, Moeen in Eng squad for 1st Test vs India

Spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have been recalled to England’s squad for the first Test against India at Edgbaston on Wednesday, with Essex seamer Jamie Porter handed his maiden call-up.

Leg-spinner Rashid quit red-ball cricket for Yorkshire earlier this year but revealed to Sky Sports last week that he would consider playing against India if asked and is now in line for his 11th Test appearance, first at home and first since England’s tour of India in 2016 after impressing in ODIs.

The 30-year-old took 12 wickets as England completed a 5-0 whitewash over Australia earlier this summer and then six in three games as the side secured a 2-1 win over India – Rashid bowling visiting captain Virat Kohli with a stunning delivery in the third and deciding ODI at Headingley.

England National Selector Ed Smith says Rashid has confirmed his availability to play Test cricket this summer and on the winter tours to Sri Lanka and the Windies – but Smith has stressed that the bowler must sign a four-day contract with a county in order to be considered in 2019.

“Clearly, the one-off circumstances around Adil’s return to the Test squad are unusual. However, the selection panel was unanimous in believing that Adil should be selected in England’s squad,” Smith said of Rashid, who claimed 23 wickets across five Tests in India in 2016.

“Following his earlier decision in February 2018, Adil has a white-ball only contract to play for Yorkshire this summer. That arrangement is unchanged by his selection for England.

“However, Adil fully understands that if he wishes to be eligible for Test cricket in the 2019 season, he must have a county contract to play four-day cricket. Moving forward, England Test players must be committed to the County Championship.” Off-spinner Ali, who took 19 wickets during England’s 3-1 Test series win at home to India in 2014, is also back in the squad after being left out of the final Test in New Zealand in March and then the drawn two-Test series against Pakistan in May and June.

Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess played against Pakistan but has been overlooked for the first of five Tests against India, as has fit-again county colleague Jack Leach, the slow left-armer who made his debut in New Zealand before a thumb injury ruled him out of the Pakistan Tests.

Smith, though, has confirmed that Leach – not considered due to a lack of overs in county cricket following his thumb injury and a bout of concussion – and Bess will train with the squad ahead of the 1,000th men’s Test. Porter and Sam Curran join fellow seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad in a 13-man squad, with England giving Chris Woakes more time to recover from injury.

Opener Keaton Jennings and middle-order batsman Dawid Malan are also retained, although Malan would appear most at risk of dropping out of the XI if England play two spinners at Edgbaston.

England and India will play five Tests in six weeks, with the Edgbaston fixture followed by matches at Lord’s (August 9), Trent Bridge (August 18), The Ageas Bowl (August 30) and The Oval (September 7).

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