At a time when Adil Rashid’s inclusion in England Test squad has caused an outrage, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has defended it.
Rashid was a controversial pick in the 13-man squad announced by England national selector Ed Smith on Thursday for the first Test against India.
England took the decision even though Rashid seemingly abandoned his immediate Test ambitions. Rashid’s last appearance came against India in Chennai more than 18 months ago. What was even more surprising that he got the call despite not playing in county championship this year.
Earlier this year, he had signed a contract with Yorkshire where he opted out of playing red-ball County Championship cricket this season. Playing in the Championship has long been the traditional pathway to Test selection. However, the English selectors made an exception by picking up the leg-spinner.
Many former skippers including Michael Vaughan have slammed the decision. However, Pietersen has a different take on the whole matter.
The England legend said that choosing a player on the basis of county appearance does not impress him. At the same time, he delivered a warning to Rashid, tweeting:
“Picking Rashid if he plays 4day County cricket or not doesn’t interest me at all. BUT, the difference between facing a spinner in Tests compared to white ball, is MASSIVE! WI tried it with Narine & I played that Test. It was a different ball game!
Hope Adil goes well!,” he added.
Picking Rashid if he plays 4day County cricket or not doesn’t interest me at all.
BUT, the difference between facing a spinner in Tests compared to white ball, is MASSIVE!
WI tried it with Narine & I played that Test. It was a different ball game!
Hope Adil goes well!
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) July 27, 2018
Rashid, meanwhile, earned the Test recall after his impressive show in the ODIs against India. The spinner finished the three-match series with six wickets with the most impressive display coming in the final ODI.
He had taken three wickets to help England restrict India to a modest 256. The highlight of the show was obviously the ball that left Virat Kohli perplexed. The delivery was reminiscent of the Ball of the Century Shane Warne bowled to Mike Gatting in 1993.