England play a joker in Test squad to play India at Edgbaston

Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have both been handed Test recalls by England selectors for the upcoming series opener against India at Edgbaston.

Yorkshire leg-spinner Rashid gets the call from national selector Ed Smith despite not bowling a single ball in red-ball cricket this season, having signed a revised contract which granted his request to play only in the One-Day Cup and Vitality Blast for his county.

The all-rounder’s prowess in the recent ODI series saw him bamboozle Virat Kohli with a delivery which pitched in line with the India captain’s leg-stump before gripping the Headingley pitch to clip the off-stump.

Doubts will surface over whether the 30-year-old can carry his form into the five-day format. Though in the winter series against India in 2016, the last time Rashid featured in Tests for England, he recorded his best match bowling figures of 7-178 in the first Test in Rajkot.

Selectors have left the option open to have a dual-pronged spin attack with Moeen Ali also named. This means there is no place for Somerset duo Dom Bess and Jack Leach.

Essex seamer Jamie Porter earns his first call-up to the Test squad after impressing for Essex and the England Lions over past few seasons. The 25-year-old was named the County Championship Player of the Year in 2017 for bagging a whopping 75 wickets in 13 games at an average of 16.82. The title-winner takes his place in the team with Chris Woakes still recovering from a thigh and knee injury.

The batting contingent of the 13-man squad remains familiar to those who padded up against Pakistan earlier this summer.

Commenting on the selection of the squad, Ed Smith said: “Adil Rashid returns to the England Test squad. Before the selection meeting, Adil had confirmed his availability to play Test cricket for England for whole of this summer and the upcoming winter tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies.

“Following his earlier decision in February 2018, Adil has a white-ball only contract to play for Yorkshire this summer. That arrangement is unchanged by his selection for England. However, Adil fully understands that if he wishes to be eligible for Test cricket in the 2019 season, he must have a county contract to play four-day cricket. Moving forward, England Test players must be committed to the county championship.

“Clearly, the one-off circumstances around Adil’s return to the Test squad are unusual. However, the selection panel was unanimous in believing that Adil should be selected in England’s squad.

“Moeen Ali has taken his strong bowling form from England’s ODI team into the county championship, where he picked up eight wickets in a fine display against Somerset this week. Moeen is recalled to the XIII having missed out on selection against Pakistan.

“Jamie Porter has been the outstanding seam bowler in the county championship over the past three seasons. He also impressed for the Lions v India A last week. With his resilience and appetite for wicket-taking, Jamie fully deserves his elevation to the England Test squad. Sam Curran, also full of form and confidence in Lions and county cricket, retains his place in the squad after his promising debut at Emerald Headingley.”

The series opener at Edgbaston marks England 1,000th Test in cricket.


England squad available to play India at Edgbaston on August 1:

Joe Root (Capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes.

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