England v Sri Lanka: I’ll go my own way, says Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid

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Adil Rashid is convinced he must be his own man as he seeks to realise his potential for England in all formats.

Rashid has the significant backing of a trio of Australians - including Shane Warne, the greatest exponent of their shared art of leg-spin - as he consolidates his resurgence of the past 12 months.

The 28-year-old Yorkshireman has firmly re-established his place in England’s limited-overs plans, most recently with two fine spells in the Royal London Series for combined figures of two for 70 in his full 20 overs against Sri Lanka.

Rashid has, in fact, featured in all of England’s last 22 one-day internationals - stretching back to his return against Ireland last May, following a six-year hiatus in his career for his country.

Rashid’s other admirers from down under are national coach Trevor Bayliss and Jason Gillespie, who is in the same position at Yorkshire.

Both have been vocal about his prospects of adding to his three Test caps to date, all against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last winter.

Bayliss has spoken of the possibility of England fielding two Test spinners at home as well as abroad - all-rounder Moeen Ali is the current incumbent - while Gillespie believes Rashid could even be first choice.

Rashid is encouraged, of course, by that sort of backing but insists nonetheless his development is ultimately in his own hands.

“It can be good (having someone like that rate you),” he said.

“But you can get a lot of people rating you. It is up to the individual to not let that get to his head and keep concentrating on what is in front of him.”

Gillespie, who also signed Rashid to significant effect for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash, spoke before the start of the new season about the importance of man management for the leg-spinner.

Rashid added: “Jason is a high-quality coach, who has played for Australia - so he has got a lot of experience.

“The way he talks to me helps, so it is good to have him there as well.”

As for Warne, who undertook an extensive tutorial with Rashid before the final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah last autumn, another brief encounter this summer also proved helpful.

“It was just before the [first one-day international] at Notts - I had a general chat with him about leg-spin,” said Rashid.

“He gives his tips ... which are helpful. It was good, bumping into him.”

Rashid has bowled better than ever, to most eyes, to help put England 1-0 up with three to play - after the Trent Bridge tie and then 10-wicket trouncing of Sri Lanka at Edgbaston on Friday.

He is therefore highly likely to win that 23rd successive ODI cap on Sunday in Bristol.

Heavy showers on Saturday afternoon may conceivably tempt England towards an extra seamer, but there will need to be very good reason to tinker with the balance of a winning team.

Whatever the immediate future, Rashid is rightly happy with the progress he has made since resuming his international career.

“It has been a good 12 months for me, especially with the white ball,” he said.

“Every series that has gone by, I have looked to improve and gain experience as well and got more confident.

“It’s probably the most consistent (I’ve been), in the last two games.

“I am getting better mentally, and with my skills, but you can always have a bad day or a bad game or series - so it is being strong in the mind.”

What about those Test aspirations, though?

He is both realistic, and optimistic.

“They are quite strong, but I think that is quite a long way away.

“At the moment I am just trying to concentrate on the ODIs and the Twenty20s that are in front of me - and hope that will take care of itself further down the line.

“I don’t think of replacing Mo or anything like that.”

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