REGARDING all the controversy surrounding Adil Rashid playing Test cricket again for England, the stupid thing about it for me is the fact that the ECB said that while he does not need a red-ball contract this year, they then stress that if he wants to play next year, he does.
That tells me – and maybe him – that he might cash in this summer after being picked for the India series; one everyone wants to play in; and then go to Sri Lanka where it is going to turn and the West Indies where it also will. Then, you know what, next summer, he might just go to the IPL instead of starting the Tests.
Because if he does well all winter, he is going to be in the IPL and will not be available for the first couple of Tests next summer and will not want to play red-ball cricket again.
Regarding his inclusion for the opener with India, in fairness, you would say that the chance of playing for England again would have been hard to turn down.
But he should have played in the Roses match, 100 per cent.
It is frightening to think now that it looks a closed shop for many players in terms of selection. It looks basically like that the selectors are going to pick from a group of around 17 England players. That is the way it looks to me at the moment.
It is not a good message to send to county cricket at all. It tells the likes of Jack Leach, Dom Bess, Liam Dawson and other players that they are definitely not first choice.
It might not matter if they get 60 wickets a season. They will probably still be well down the pecking order, especially when they pick someone who does not really want to play in the longer form of the game.
As for Yorkshire and the Rashid situation, well they just have not had the rub of the green, have they?
They give him a white-ball contract and pay him according to that contract and when it comes to playing some key white-ball games, he is suddenly unavailable. It is a massive kick in the teeth for them.
Rashid picked up a couple of wickets in the first innings for England against India and while I wish him all the best while he is playing for the Test team again, I do not agree with him playing.
He did not get much of an opportunity in the first innings, but did what I expected him to do.
When India were playing shots at the end of the day on Thursday, he got two ‘one-day’ wickets.
He got a tail-ender out and someone in Virat Kohli who was trying to score heavily with the tail.
Rashid does what he does and does it well. When the field is spread, he is very good bowler. But he has got to prove it when it is an attacking field if he is going to be the main spinner and not even the second spinner like he was when he bowled with Moeen Ali.
He had always been the No 2 and now he’s the main spinner. So he has got to perform.
Sam Curran picked up four wickets in the first innings and that was brilliant for him in terms of his confidence. Him and his brother have got a big future playing one-day cricket in particular. But obviously in the conditions at Edgbaston where the ball was swinging around, he was a good pick and it was a good shout.
He can obviously swing the ball and Edgbaston always swings around and is a great pitch. He was our best bowler by an absolute mile, first time around. He bowled beautifully.
But the main problem for me is that in terms of our seam attack, we have gone back to like it was in the last Ashes series in Australia. We are just a very one-paced team.
Ben Stokes, Curran, James Anderson and Stuart Broad are all very similar in that aspect and that is why we struggled to get the tail-end out on Thursday.
Personally, I would have brought on Rashid straightaway. If England are to pick Rashid, he has to bowl against the tail-end. That is what he is good at and has proved that in his whole career.
He knocks the bottom order over as they do not pick his googly and he bowls lots of them. I would have had him on a lot quicker, but they bowled Anderson too long, even though he does not want to come off when he is bowling at the tail. Curran was also kept on when he was tiring.
England have to be stronger and get Rashid on against the tail-end quicker as they don’t have a clue where he is bowling. That is why tail-enders bat where they do.