Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali pose key questions for England as Pakistan await

时间:2019-08-15  作者:戚盐座  来源:pk10投注  浏览:79次  评论:163条

The two most pressing issues for England heading into the upcoming three-match series against Pakistan is whether Adil Rashid has what it takes to operate as a spinner at Test level and if can cut it as an opener.

England will hope to go some way towards answering both those questions when they start the first of two two-day tour matches against Pakistan A in Sharjah on Monday.

It is widely expected Moeen will take his place at the top of the order alongside his captain in a match which has been engineered to allow England to bat for the entirety of the first day and then bowl for the second – regardless of how many wickets fall.

That will go some way to ensuring both batsmen and bowlers will get as much preparation as possible in the short space of time before the Test series starts in Abu Dhabi on 13 October.

The elevation of Moeen ahead of Alex Hales would be a big gamble for England given the Worcestershire all-rounder batted at No8 during last summer’s Ashes series and has never opened for his county in first-class cricket. The 28-year-old operated as an opener for England during the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this year, scoring a century against Scotland in Christchurch.

But batting at the top of the order in Test cricket is another thing altogether. Just ask Adam Lyth, Cook’s sixth opening partner since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012 and the latest to be discarded following a torrid Ashes series.

However, promoting Moeen is a calculated risk coach seemingly believes is worth taking as it allows England to bring Rashid into the team as a second spinner and still retain three frontline seam bowlers. In the strength-sapping conditions England face in the Middle East, where temperatures are unseasonably warm for autumn and humidity is stifling, having as many bowling options as possible will be crucial to Cook.

While Moeen will remain the team’s first-choice spinner, the help afforded to him by Rashid and the variety the Yorkshire legspinner will offer the team could be a deciding factor in the series.

Rashid has bided his time patiently, having made his one-day debut six years ago and been an unused squad member not only in the West Indies last spring but also for all five Ashes Tests in the summer.

Now, though, he feels ready having boosted his confidence with encouraging displays during the one-day series against New Zealand and Australia in the summer.

“It’s quite a big game for me,” Rashid said of Monday’s first tour match. “I hope I can go out there and do the things I do for Yorkshire – keeping it simple and looking to attack. That’s what I’m planning to do tomorrow and if I get the call later as well [in the Test series]. I feel ready.

“My job is to get in the team to create chances, and be that wicket-taker. I’m looking to be aggressive, and positive. I’m there as a strike bowler. My aim is to go out there, enjoy it, create chances, be attacking and let everything else take care of itself.”

It was in the Caribbean where Rashid last played long-form cricket for England, bowling poorly during two tour matches against a St Kitts & Nevis XI. Moeen was absent then, though, through injury, meaning Rashid was asked to perform a containing role that he is ill-suited to.

Of course, Peter Moores was England coach then, too. Much has changed since Bayliss took over the job on the eve of the Ashes and the impact the Australian has had on Rashid has been noticeable. “Trevor’s always given me that backing and confidence,” he said. “He’s always talking to me. It’s a real confidence booster.”

England probable Cook (capt), Moeen, Bell, Root, Taylor, Stokes, Buttler (wicketkeeper), Rashid, Broad, Wood, Anderson.