Adil Rashid’s England Selection Is Simply Illogical
Over the past year the England selectors have drastically let down the County Championship and shown a worrying lack of faith in the system. It all started with the selection of Jos Buttler prior to England’s Test series against Pakistan.
Buttler has frequently shown that he is a very talented player and is definitely one of the best batsmen in the world. In white ball cricket at least. Admittedly, he did score runs against Pakistan, but sometimes one needs to look at the reasons behind a selection and the message it sends out.
At the time of his selection, Buttler was in sublime form in white ball cricket – hitting huge runs in the IPL. He broke a record for the most consecutive fifties and stole all the headlines at home.
Meanwhile, County Championship players like Rory Burns and Ben Foakes (two Surrey stars) were scoring big runs with the red ball away from the spotlight. Yet, they were not included in England’s plans at all.
The selectors simply ignored the County Championship and focused on the headline-grabbing IPL instead. Traditionally scoring runs in the County Championship was the benchmark for being selected for England.
I asked Joe Root about the message this sends out to young County players and he was rather defensive in his reply stating that Jos is an ‘individual case’ and that my implications were not ‘fair’. Sure, that’s a fairly reasonable reply, but Adil Rashid’s selection reinforces my negative views on England’s selection policy.
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Adil Rashid’s England recall is simply absurd and illogical, with the reasons justifying it severely lacking. Rashid had earlier signed a white-ball contract for Yorkshire and renounced any intention to play red ball cricket for them.
Shockingly, Ed Smith thought it would be a good idea to call him up to England’s Test squad. There are so many reasons why this is a shockingly bad decision. Firstly, taking wickets with a white ball is nowhere near comparable to taking them with a red ball. In List A and T20 cricket, it is remarkably easy to take wickets as a spinner as even bad balls can get wickets.
Test cricket is a completely different game and not one that Adil Rashid necessarily wants to play. Personally, I do pity Rashid. He has made his cricketing intentions very clear, to focus on white ball cricket, but when a Test call up from his country comes it is something he cannot turn down. If your country needs you, or so they say, you cannot let them down.
The second impact this selection has is that it reinforces the message sent out by Buttler’s selection. The County Championship is increasingly meaning less and less. Dominic Bess and Jack Leach have been in the England set-up, due to their efforts in the county circuit, but now overlooked for Rashid. Bess was impressive in his debut series and did not do too much wrong.
Under the current status quo there is no incentive for young cricketers to play four day County cricket, but it seems that the key to an England Test call-up is to be a white ball specialist.
Comment below your views on the matter and if you believe Rashid’s selection was a good one, do say!