2019 WORLD CUP
Adil Rashid has picked 11 wickets this World Cup © Getty
In England’s World Cup campaign so far, it’s been a real tussle between the pacers and the batsmen for all the limelight. Jofra Archer has 19 wickets, Mark Wood’s got 17, and Chris Woakes has secured 13. And all the while Adil Rashid has quietly done his job with 11 as the team finds itself in the final for the first time since 1992.
Rashid’s average is a bit underwhelming – at 44.27 – but he’s managed to control the economy, to compliment the pacers’ exploits. His best of 3 for 54 so far came against Australia in the all-important semifinal as England bulldozed past Aaron Finch and Co. to seal a spot in the final. Australia had rebuilt superbly with Steve Smith and Alex Carey but Rashid killed the game with wickets of the latter, Marcus Stoinis and Pat Cummins.
A couple of days out from the final, Rashid spoke about the feeling of being in the summit clash finally sinking in.
“At the beginning of the tournament, I couldn’t believe it. It’s been a good journey in the World Cup. The ups, the downs as well. Some interesting times. We’ve played good cricket the past three games and now to be in a position where we can win it, it’s a good feeling,” Rashid said.
“It’s obviously nice to get a few wickets. If I didn’t get any wickets but we won the game then that’s what counts. It’s nice to contribute to a game, a semi-final as well. Hopefully, I can carry that on.
“Knowing that we the bowlers have done their job well and restricted them to 230 odd or whatever it was. Knowing that if we bat well we can chase these down and get into a World Cup final. And that’s’ what it was. I reckon there have been a few times I’ve bowled better but not got the rewards.
“But that happens in cricket, sometimes you bowl well and don’t get wickets. You don’t bowl as well, you get wickets. That’s cricket and that happens to everybody. For me personally, I want to keep striving, keep looking to work hard and keeping looking to deliver my skills and be confident in that.”
One of the criticisms directed at Rashid has been the lack of googlies bowled by him. The legspinner, though, stressed the shoulder injury has prevented him from using his variations.
“The main reason was probably because of my shoulder because I’ve got a bit of a shoulder problem. But I knew that that’s a big weapon for me, that’s one of my big weapons those variations, looking to create stuff,” he said. “My shoulder has that little bit of problem and I know I still had to bowl it even if I was a bit of a pain. Knowing that’s my strength, that’s why I get wickets. Today and the previous two days of practice I’ve done was for that as well.
“It’s been good for a while. But in terms of variations, googlies and stuff, it’s been a bit different to what it has been pre-shoudler problem as well. Before the shoulder, I was confident about bowling everything. Once you have a niggle it becomes a bit harder with the rotation – the arm gets a bit lower and you don’t find that snap.
The previous two net sessions I’ve done it’s come out well. But now I can get it back to my best. That would come by maybe having that confidence to do it regardless of whatever happens and knowing that I need to do it because that’s my best strength.”
Rashid, however, was quick to point out the performances have also been because of the back of Eoin Morgan. “100%. 100%. He knows my game now inside out. Been with him for four years, through good times and not so good times. He knows my strengths, what I’m capable of and vice-versa as well,” he revealed. “Yeah me and him have that communication. We have that trust as well. If he senses a feel, we’ll go by it. If I sense a feel, we’ll go by it – what plans we want or how we should ball. It’s very easy like that. We’re easy-going like that. I 100% trust him in decisions he makes.
“He always has faith in me from day one till now. There are going to be games where you don’t go well. Games where you go well. That’s part and parcel of cricket.”