By Chris Stocks/The Guardian
Trevor Bayliss has indicated Adil Rashid is in line for a Test recall for the series against India despite the fact the leg-spinner opted out of playing red-ball cricket. The England head coach was glowing in his praise of Rashid after he starred in the ODI series, the highlight of which was an outrageous delivery that bowled Virat Kohli in the deciding match on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old made the last of his 10 Test appearances against India in Chennai in December 2016 and had seemingly abandoned his ambitions to play any more when he signed a white-ball-only contract with Yorkshire at the start of the summer.
Speaking the immediate aftermath of England’s win at Headingley, Rashid indicated he would reconsider that stance, saying: “At this moment in time I’m just concentrating on white-ball cricket. But in the meantime if something comes about I’ll be happy.”
Bayliss has said chief selector Ed Smith, who picked Jos Buttler based purely on white-ball form for the first Test series of the summer against Pakistan, is likely to have a conversation with Rashid to gauge his appetite for a return – potentially for the first Test at Edgbaston starting on 1 August. “That’s a decision Adil’s got to make,” said Bayliss. “I’m not sure whether Ed Smith’s had a chat with him or not. Could he get picked in the Test team on white-ball form? It’s already happened once this year. I’m sure he’ll be up for discussion, definitely. This year is probably the best we’ve seen him bowl. His control and his consistency has been top class.”
Bayliss confirmed Ben Stokes will play in the first Test against India despite fears he could be distracted by his impending court case. The all-rounder will miss the second match of the series at Lord’s as it clashes with his trial at Bristol Crown Court on a charge of affray.
Given the scheduled conclusion of the Edgbaston Test is just a day before the trial starts it would be understandable if England decided to overlook Stokes. However, Bayliss said: “Ben’s the all-round package and just lifts everyone. Look, it’s not the best situation not having him there for Lord’s but we want him available for as many games as possible.”
Meanwhile, England have confirmed a schedule for next summer that includes an historic four-day first Test against Ireland. The four-day contest at Lord’s, starting on 24 July, will be England’s first Test scheduled to last fewer than five days since 1971. Ireland, who gained Test status last year and lost their first match against Pakistan in May, will act as an Ashes warm-up for England. That series against Australia, the first to be played as part of the new ICC Test Championship, will start at Edgbaston on 1 August, with further Tests at Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval.
Meanwhile, England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has urged his side to carry forward the momentum of their ODI series win. “There’s an overlap of players between the Tests and the one-dayers, so coming off the back of a series win is going to naturally boost your confidence,” Bairstow said.
“Playing against the number two side in the world when you’re ranked at one there’s always pressure on it and to win that series was something we set out to do. We will take confidence from that into the Test team but at the same time it’s something that we know with Test cricket is completely different. It’s a different formula, a different game and different personnel within the team,” he added.
Asked about Test skipper Joe Root’s ‘mic-drop’ celebration after scoring a series-winning century at Headingley, Bairstow said: “I know he’s copped a lot of stick for it. I don’t think that’ll be coming out anytime soon! It was good fun and he deserved to get man of the series the way that he went out and guided us through, especially at Headingley. Hopefully he goes out and keeps scoring the runs that he’s scored in the last two games.”
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