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India vs England: Adil Rashid Gets Surprise Call-up for England for First Test Against India, Moeen Ali Also Makes Comeback

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: July 27, 2018, 8:14 AM IST
India vs England: Adil Rashid Gets Surprise Call-up for England for First Test Against India, Moeen Ali Also Makes Comeback

(Image: Reuters)

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In a surprising though not entirely unexpected move, England have recalled Adil Rashid to the Test team and handed a maiden Test call-up to Essex seamer Jamie Porter in the 13-man squad for the first Test against India at Edgbaston starting on August 1. The other surprise is the return for Moeen Ali who had been dropped after a poor Ashes series. Ali had picked 19 wickets with an average of 23.00 in 2014 in the last series against India.

Rashid last played in the Test team in December 2016 when England toured India. He had in fact a signed a limited-overs contract with Yorkshire back in February and hasn’t played any First-Class cricket this season. However, his form in the ODI series and the lack of too many alternatives have forced the selectors to bring him back into the squad. The previous instance of a selection being made by newly appointed selector Ed Smith on the basis of white ball form was Jos Buttler when he was recalled from the IPL to play against Pakistan in May. Buttler too had made himself unavailable for red-ball cricket.

If Rashid plays at Edgbaston, it will be his first appearance in a home Test after he made his debut against Pakistan in the UAE in 2015-16.

The ECB, however, believe that Rashid’s current form and the unusual summer did call for this step to be taken. India have already responded to the conditions by selection the left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav who left England’s batsmen tied in knots during the limited-overs campaign. Rashid had dismissed Indian captain Virat Kohli with a ripping leg-break in the decisive ODI at Headingley, sparking talk of a possible return to the Test set-up.

"Before the selection meeting, Adil had confirmed his availability to play Test cricket for England for whole of this summer and the upcoming winter tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies," Smith said. "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."

"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."

The ECB’s explanation though has not gone down well with Yorkshire, who had signed Rashid precisely on a contract centred around white-ball. He will now miss the rest of the group matches for this year’s Vitality Blast.

To help England prepare for what is likely to be a spin-heavy series, recent debutants Dom Bess and Jack Leach, will join the squad throughout their preparations for the Edgbaston Test.

Essex bowler Porter earned his first Test call-up on the basis of impressive performances for a couple of years with the England Lions and Essex. Porter claimed 75 wickets as Essex won their first County Championship title in 2017. He comes in ahead of Chris Woakes, whose recent thigh and knee injuries have limited his opportunities to regain full match fitness.

"Jamie Porter has been the outstanding seam bowler in the county championship over the past three seasons," said Smith. "He also impressed for the Lions v India A last week. With his resilience and appetite for wicket-taking, Jamie fully deserves his elevation to the England Test squad. Sam Curran, also full of form and confidence in Lions and county cricket, retains his place in the squad after his promising debut at Emerald Headingley.”

England Squad for First Test Against India: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes
First Published: July 26, 2018, 5:24 PM IST
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1 India 4397 116
2 England 5310 108
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5 Australia 3663 102
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