Darren Gough – Why Adil Rashid is the key man for England at 2019 World Cup

TOP MAN: England's Adil Rashid celebrates taking the wicket of West Indies' Oshane Thomas at St. George's, Grenada. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan)
TOP MAN: England's Adil Rashid celebrates taking the wicket of West Indies' Oshane Thomas at St. George's, Grenada. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan)
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FOR me, with the World Cup on the horizon this year, it is a big bonus that Adil Rashid has had a great one-day series for England in the West Indies.

He is such a big weapon. If England are going to do well in the World Cup he must have a good tournament.

IN THE RUNS: England's Jonny Bairstow plays a shot through to third man. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

IN THE RUNS: England's Jonny Bairstow plays a shot through to third man. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

He was disappointing in the Tests, but has been excellent in the one-dayers. He is such a dangerous player and match-winner for England in the white-ball format.

He bowls lots of googlies and his ‘mystery’ wins games. He has been super in one-day cricket for the last two years.

He is being used as a strike bowler in the one-dayers whereas in the Tests he bowls to defensive fields. But in the one-dayers he can have the fielders out and they are attacking ones.

His problem is that in the Tests players are not going to risk against him and that is why he is not so effective.

He was disappointing in the Tests but has been excellent in the one-dayers. He is such a dangerous player and match-winner for England in the white-ball format.

Darren Gough

The tour of the West Indies is drawing to a close and there have been two main highlights for me.

Number one was Mark Wood’s display in St Lucia and showing a change of action, having waited so long for that opportunity. He took it with both hands and bowled at the speed of light.

The spell he bowled just before lunch in the West Indies’ first innings blew them away.

The second one was the performance of Chris Gayle, especially in the last ODI in St Lucia. I have never seen hitting like that. It was unbelievable ball-striking ability. He just smashed it to all parts and did not even get to face spin, which was strange.

IN THE FRAME: Chris Jordan shlould be considered for England's World Cup squad, says Darren Gough. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images,)

IN THE FRAME: Chris Jordan shlould be considered for England's World Cup squad, says Darren Gough. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images,)

As one of the favourites for the World Cup I do feel that England should be glad that their big defeat in the final ODI with West Indies has happened now.

It was a similar story to the Test series, for me. When England play on a pitch that offers a bit of pace and bounce they are found wanting.

It happened in Barbados and Antigua and happened again in the one-dayer in St Lucia. Our techniques did not come up to scratch and, for a team ranked No 1 in the world, it is something we have to work on.

It was almost as if England were just getting a bit ahead of themselves. Now they have to check themselves to say, ‘Yes, we are good, but we just have to be a little bit wary’.

Spin king: England's Adil Rashid celebrates with captain Eoin Morgan and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler after dismissing West Indies' Oshane Thomas to win by 30 runs the fourth one-day international.

Spin king: England's Adil Rashid celebrates with captain Eoin Morgan and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler after dismissing West Indies' Oshane Thomas to win by 30 runs the fourth one-day international.

Sometimes, when you are winning all the time, a little bit of arrogance can creep in. That final ODI was just a warning to England, just as we also had one in the last ODI in Sri Lanka.

We need to judge the pitch quicker. We had seven wickets fall to the short ball with cross-bat shots and you cannot do that in ODIs.

You do have to be wary of the pitch and conditions. There is going to be a time in England where we lose the toss and get put into bat and it might seam around for the first 15 to 20 minutes. You cannot afford to be going gung-ho and be 40-5, especially in the knockout stages of a tournament.

You can get away with it in the group stages, but not in the knockouts where you must play to the conditions. You cannot score 400 every game. You don’t need 400 to win a game.

On to the T20s: the strange thing about that first T20 game was that in the only series in which England were not favourites on this tour, we won.

It was pleasing to see Chris Jordan play so well and he could put himself in the reckoning for the World Cup; he might make a late push.

He is a proper athlete and his fielding speaks for itself and he has got better and better as a ‘death’ bowler.

For me, he has been used in other formats earlier on in his career when I did not think he was quite ready to play. Now he is the real deal and has an outside chance of the World Cup squad.

He is a better player than people give him credit for. He can bowl quick and is a very intelligent bowler who can also bat and field. He is a three-dimensional cricketer now. He has been pigeon-holed as a T20 specialist, but is better than that.

It was also great for Jonny Bairstow to get some runs. He had been getting a lot of starts, but getting out for twenties and thirties. So it was fantastic for him to get a match-winning score. I think he needed that for his own confidence and peace of mind.

Looking at the T20 side I think there are a lot of places up for grabs. Jason Roy, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes are all definites and they are not there.

The good thing about it is that everyone currently there is playing for a position. Ali is probably the one who might not get in and he is a good player.

Jofra Archer will get his chance against Pakistan and that is big news as I have been calling for him to be called up for weeks.

Liam Plunkett and David Willey were under pressure before West Indies. It is the same now and they are still playing for places in the World Cup side.