Rashid’s leg-spin has been the team’s most reliable source of wickets over the last four years but muscular impingement in his right shoulder has contributed to a lower-key tournament than many anticipated.
At times he has seemed either unwilling or unable to throw his most dangerous asset, a hard-spun googly, but things appear to be coming to a head in perfect time for tomorrow’s battle with New Zealand, Rashid having returned his best figures of the competition in Thursday’s semi-final against Australia, taking 3-54.
Under different leadership, Rashid might have found himself eased out of the team, particularly after taking two wickets from his first four games. Yet Morgan’s commitment has remained steadfast and when England opted for an extra seamer, it was Moeen Ali who made way.
“I was fairly confident, there was no thinking ‘you may play, you may not play’,” said Rashid. “Morgs always had the faith in me, from day one. There are going to be games where you don’t go well and games where you go well but he was confident in me.
“One hundred percent he’s the best captain I’ve played under. He knows my game now inside out and I’ve been with him for four years, through good times and not so good times.”
And while the googly may have proved generally elusive, one of Rashid’s wickets against Australia included a brilliant wrong ‘un that bamboozled Marcus Stoinis.
“It was nice to make a batsman go for a cut on the back foot and spin it back in,” he said.
“That’s a nice feeling for any spinner that bowls a variation that a batsman doesn’t pick and gets a wicket.
“I’ve probably not bowled them as much and the main reason was probably because I’ve got a bit of a shoulder problem. Before the shoulder, I was confident bowling everything but once you have a niggle it becomes a bit harder with the rotation - the arm gets a bit lower and you don’t find that snap.
“But I knew that that was a big weapon for me...I knew I still had to bowl it even if I was in a bit of pain. Now I can get it back to my best.”