ADIL RASHID insists he is ready to take his chance if selected for the first Ashes Test and is backing England to regain the urn.
The Yorkshire leg-spinner has been named in a 13-man squad for the opening match in Cardiff on Wednesday.
He is one of two spinners in the party along with Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali.
“If I do get picked I’ll just look to do what I do for Yorkshire and I’m sure I’ll be ok,” said Rashid, who is the only uncapped player in the squad at Test level.
“It’s still the same cricket – still a bat and ball in the hand – just different opposition.
“It’s always a dream to play Test cricket for any youngster – especially to be part of an Ashes squad – and I’m really looking forward to getting down there and seeing what happens.
“We’ll have to wait and see what the pitch is like and what the team are looking for as to whether I play.
“To be honest, I’m just delighted to be in the squad – over the moon.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting series, and I think our chances are quite high.
“If we can stick to what we did in the one-day series against New Zealand, try and be attacking with bat and ball, be positive and take the positive options and really look to fire, I think we’ll go a long way.
“Hopefully, we can have that positive mindset.
“If we do, we can come out on top.”
England coach Trevor Bayliss wants the option of two spinners and was impressed with Rashid in the recent ODIs against New Zealand.
The 27-year-old was not part of the 14-man training camp that travelled to Spain for a bonding session with Bayliss this week, with England preferring him to play for Yorkshire in the County Championship at Durham.
“There was no possibility of going to Spain,” said Rashid, who returned match figures of 4-120 from 43.1 overs at Chester-le-Street.
“I was just told to get some overs under my belt against Durham and see what happens.
“I found out I was in the England squad as soon as I got off the field after we beat Durham.
“Dizzy (Yorkshire first-team coach Jason Gillespie) was the first one to tell me and he congratulated me on my selection, and then I checked my phone and I had a message from Mr Whitaker (national selector James Whitaker) saying I’d been selected.”
Rashid credits Gillespie with having played a key role in his progress in recent times.
It is testament to the efforts of Gillespie and all at Yorkshire that the club have so many players in and around the national set-up, with Rashid joined in the Ashes squad by batsmen Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth.
“Dizzy has been a big influence,” said Rashid.
“Since he came to the club he’s just encouraged me to spin the ball and give it plenty of air, make the batsmen come down and play their shots.
“That’s what I’ve done and, thankfully, I’ve got some wickets.
“I’m really grateful to everyone at the club.”
Gillespie has no doubt Rashid will thrive if given his chance.
“I think Adil’s good enough to play the next level now,” said Gillespie.
“He showed that in the one-day series – he was brilliant, he learnt a lot, and he was used really well by Eoin Morgan. That gave him a lot of confidence.
“If he does get an opportunity, he certainly has my endorsement and I think he’ll be absolutely fine.”
England’s Ashes squad: Page 22.