Spinner Adil Rashid expressed his delight to be back in England colours after Sunday’s two-wicket win over the Proteas in the third and final ODI at the Wanderers.
Rashid missed out on selection in the first two ODIs in Cape Town and Durban last week, and ultimately played his first game for his country since last year’s Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s.
In what was also his 100th ODI on Sunday, the 31-year-old made life difficult for the Proteas batsmen and contributed with man-of-the-match-worthy figures of 3-51 in his 10 overs, which restricted the hosts to 256-7 in their innings.
‘It feels nice to be back playing with the boys and it was obviously nice to get some overs under the belt. I haven’t bowled much for the past six to seven months due to a bit of a shoulder injury. It was nice to get out there and ultimately get a win,’ Rashid said.
With the different variations used in his bowling, Rashid feels the Wanderers wicket helped the spinners a bit as he, Moeen Ali and Joe Root were deployed by their captain.
‘It was just one of those days. Sometimes they don’t come out as good, sometimes they come out better like today. That is one thing that I look to strive for is my variations in whatever conditions I have and it is a big part of my armoury. The wicket did help a bit – there were a bit of spin and a bit of bounce, so it worked out pretty nicely for the spinners.’
Chasing the total of 257, England made it difficult for themselves as wickets began to tumble towards the end of their innings, which added pressure on the tailenders to get the job done.
According to Rashid, though, the dressing room was quite relaxed and assured that Ali and Chris Jordan would get their team over the line.
‘We were quite confident. We have batters who can bat to No 11. Obviously we wouldn’t have liked to lose the wickets in the end but that’s cricket and it happens. Hopefully we learn from that now for the next time we are in that situation, but we were confident that we could chase that down,’ said Rashid.
Despite not featuring in the first two ODIs, Rashid was comfortable with the decision taken by the coach and captain to make use of Matthew Parkinson in those matches.
‘Morgs [Eoin Morgan] spoke to me and said that we are trying a few things out and we are looking at a few players. Me and Morgs have got a good relationship, a good understanding, so for me it was just to take it and carry on doing my work.’
Rashid will be part of England’s squad for the three upcoming T20Is that get under way in East London on Wednesday.
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