JASON GILLESPIE believes Adil Rashid can follow Liam Plunkett’s lead and shine for England again.
The Yorkshire coach says his 26-year-old leg-spinner is now bowling better than at any other stage since the Australian took over at Headingley ahead of the 2012 county summer.
Although he has only taken 12 wickets in eight LV= County Championship matches, Rashid has been bowling better than his return suggests, and he has been particularly impressive in Twenty20.
He has taken five wickets from four matches, including hauls of 2-19 and 2-22 in wins against Derbyshire and Lancashire.
Rashid, however, is missing today’s Championship match against Sussex at Arundel due to the impending birth of his first child, but he should be back in action at Warwickshire next week.
He has not yet played a Test for England, but he played five one-day and as many T20 internationals in 2009.
“I don’t know (how far away from an England recall he is), but he has bowled the best he’s bowled since I’ve been at the club in the last three years,” said Gillespie.
“He hasn’t got the rewards for it because of how the games have been going, and he hasn’t had the opportunity to bowl. I actually thought at Lord’s he was probably the man most likely to get Chris Rogers out when he got that double hundred.
“I think he has been bowling quite well, but he just hasn’t had the overs. He will have an impact when the wickets bake a bit.
“Rash has scored runs batting number six and seven for Yorkshire on surfaces that probably favour bowling, going out and being aggressive and playing some good knocks.
“I would prefer him to play for Yorkshire, but he wouldn’t let England down. I think he’s in a really good place with his cricket.
“I think Borthwick or Rashid would be good options. A bit like Liam is best suited in a four-man pace attack, I think Rash is best suited to a five-man attack. In the current structure, there is no reason Rash couldn’t be in there. He would do a really good job.
“He’s bowling well and scored some runs. Most importantly, he’s happy with his cricket, which is nice.
“I think the different natures of the wickets in international cricket may help him, especially over the course of five days. People may look at statistics and see he averages 40 with the ball, but stats can say anything.
“If you actually watch how he’s bowling, how he’s getting his wickets is the most pleasing thing.
“He’s giving the ball some air, he’s spinning it hard, and if a wicket deteriorates over the course of five days, those sort of lads that can spin the ball hard and get appreciable turn come into their own.
“He may not play much of a role in the first two or three days of a game, but he can in the final two.”
Yorkshire are five points behind division one leaders Somerset ahead of their ninth match of the season.
Yorkshire's 12-man squad v Sussex: Gale (capt), Bairstow (wkt), Bresnan, Brooks, Finch, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Pyrah, Rafiq, Shaw.