Hussain: Only Rashid can decide Test future

Nasser Hussain

Cricket Expert & Columnist

Nasser Hussain discusses Adil Rashid’s England Test future, Joe Root’s hopes of playing in the next T20 World Cup and ‘great cricketing nation’ South Africa on the latest Sky Sports Cricket Podcast as he joins Ian Ward and Michael Atherton in Cape Town

Last Updated: 24/11/20 10:07pm

Adil Rashid has not played a Test match for England since 2019 but is a vital member of their white-ball sides
Adil Rashid has not played a Test match for England since 2019 but is a vital member of their white-ball sides

Adil Rashid must decide whether he really wants to play Test cricket again before England consider recalling him in the longest form, says Nasser Hussain.

Leg-spinner Rashid is an integral part of England’s white-ball sides and is currently in South Africa ahead of the three T20Is and three ODIs against the Proteas, which start on Friday, live on Sky Sports.

The 32-year-old – on a white-ball only deal at Yorkshire in country cricket – played the most recent of his 19 Tests in January 2019, although national selector Ed Smith says he remains in England’s thoughts.

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Speaking on the latest Sky Sports Cricket Podcast – which you can listen to in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts – Hussain discussed a potential return for Rashid as England look to win in India in early 2021 and in Australia the following winter.

Hussain said: “I wouldn’t go cap in hand to Rashid. I think he is a very fine bowler but it has to come from within, from Adil saying ‘I want to play Test cricket’.

“I say that because on tours of India and Australia – I know, I’ve been there – your bowler has to want to be out there in the battle. They are brutal places for bowlers.

Leg spinner Rashid has taken 204 wickets for England in limited-overs cricket
Leg spinner Rashid has taken 204 wickets for England in limited-overs cricket

“When you throw the ball to Adil when Virat Kohli is 60 not out and India are 100-1, or in the Ashes, or second time around and he has bowled 50 overs already, it has to be mental and physical.

“With his shoulder, he has to be physically fit enough to get through 60 overs in a game. When would he last have done that?”

Hussain: Don’t forget about Moeen

During a chat about England’s spin options with host Ian Ward and fellow guest Michael Atherton, Hussain also said Moeen Ali remains a contender, despite not playing a Test since August 2019.

Former England captain Hussain says the 33-year-old all-rounder – who has taken 181 wickets and scored over 2,700 runs in 60 Tests to date – has been hindered by a lack of cricket recently, with his batting taking the biggest hit.

“I am still a fan of Moeen,” he said. “His record as an off-spinner is right up there with the best of them – he is too good a cricketer to forget.

Don't rule out an England Test return for Moeen Ali, says Nasser
Don’t rule out an England Test return for Moeen Ali, says Nasser

“I know he is getting on a bit now but he still has a lot of offer. He is such a talent so [his form] has been one of the biggest disappointments.

“I wish there had been more county cricket last summer so he could have gone and opened the batting for Worcestershire or batted at three and got that rhythm.

“He has sat on the bench in franchise cricket, carried the drinks in the World Cup, so his form has dipped because he hasn’t been playing. He is a rhythm batsman and has lost the rhythm of batting.”

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Nasser says England have an enormous amount of white-ball depth as they prepare for next year’s T20 World Cup
Nasser says England have an enormous amount of white-ball depth as they prepare for next year’s T20 World Cup

‘England can’t play Root and Malan in same side’

Rashid and Moeen are part of England’s T20I squad to face South Africa but Joe Root is not, with the Test captain – who last played a T20I in May 2019 – once again being overlooked for a batting spot.

Root was England’s highest run-scorer at the 2016 T20 World Cup in India – which is also the venue for next October’s edition – while he hit an unbeaten 45 from 26 balls in England’s internal T20 warm-up match in Paarl on Monday.

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Dawid Malan tells The Hussain and Key Cricket Show that you never ‘deserve’ a place in a team and that he just wants to make the most of his England opportunity
Dawid Malan tells The Hussain and Key Cricket Show that you never ‘deserve’ a place in a team and that he just wants to make the most of his England opportunity

Hussain said: “I don’t think the game of T20 has moved forward at all.

“You only have to look at the IPL this year. Slightly different pitches in the UAE, yes, but look at how well Kane Williamson has done in the subcontinent. You still need [that sort of player].

“Joe’s problem is not that the game has moved on, his problem is that Dawid Malan has come in, scored runs, and got the No 1 T20 ranking.

“You can’t have a side with Malan and Root, not with all the other riches England have in the batting department.”

England white-ball tour to South Africa

  • Nov 27: First T20I, Cape Town (4pm start)
  • Nov 29: Second T20I, Paarl (12.30pm start)
  • Dec 1: Third T20I, Cape Town (4pm start)
  • Dec 4: First ODI, Cape Town (11am start)
  • Dec 6: Second ODI, Paarl (8am start)
  • Dec 9: Third ODI, Cape Town (11am start)

‘South Africa a great cricketing nation’

Root will be back for the three one-day internationals against South Africa, which begin on December 4, as he faces a Proteas side who have encountered off-field turmoil, with allegations of mismanagement levelled at the previous cricket board and an interim administration now in place.

Hussain hopes South Africa’s players are not affected by the behind-the-scenes issues and has commended the side for how they have overcome other problems in the past.

He added: “I am amazed how well South Africa have coped over the last decade with issues rumbling on in the background – finances, Kolpak cricketers, losing AB de Villiers. If you think of the side they could have, they are still producing some incredibly talented cricketers.

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Jos Buttler is a ‘huge fan’ of danger man Quinton de Kock ahead of England’s T20I series against South Africa
Jos Buttler is a ‘huge fan’ of danger man Quinton de Kock ahead of England’s T20I series against South Africa

“Quinton De Kock is one of the great white-ball cricketers – we saw that in the IPL – and then there’s Kagiso Rabada. Hopefully we see South Africa playing well as they are a great cricketing nation and have had great battles with England. They are always tight series.

“South Africa are a very fine team in spite of what is going on behind the scenes and it sort of shows that even though the ECB gets knocked a lot, we are pretty lucky how the game is run in England.

“South African cricketers would bite your hand off to be managed the way the ECB manages England.”

Watch every game of England’s white-ball tour of South Africa live on Sky Sports Cricket, starting with the first T20 from 3.30pm on Friday.

Source : Sky Sports