Pressure mounted on Adil Rashid as former captain Geoffrey Boycott hit out at his selection in England squad for the India series, calling the spinner a “spoilt brat”, who should not have been handed a Test recall.
“In two years England have gone around in a circle. By picking Adil Rashid, they are selecting the unselectable: a player who will not play four-day Championship cricket for Yorkshire because his heart isn’t in it but he will play for England in Test Matches. Absurd? Yes,” Boycott wrote earlier in the Daily Telegraph.
Later on Tuesday, England confirmed that Rashid will be in the playing XI for the first Test.
Yorkshire have reacted angrily to England’s decision to select a player who has made himself unavailable to them for red-ball cricket this summer.
“How could he expect Yorkshire to welcome that news? He should reverse the roles and put himself in their position instead of thinking about himself. It makes him look like a spoilt brat,” Boycott, a former opener, said.
Former skipper Michael Vaughan had also questioned Rashid’s selection, prompting a sharp reaction from the spinner.
Backing Vaughan, Boycott said, “Michael Vaughan criticised him, so he hit out like a spoilt child saying Michael is stupid and nobody listens to him. Trashing a great England captain and superb batsman doesn’t go down well with the cricketing public.”
“Let me tell Adil that Vaughan will be remembered as one of the greatest England captains and an elegant, superb batsman. In 10 years nobody will remember Adil’s Test-match performances. He has played 10 Test matches, taken 38 wickets at an average of 42.78 runs. He has been expensive and not a match-winner.
“Someone close to him should tell him to keep his mouth shut and start bowling better. If he trashes me, like he trashed Vaughan, so be it but our cricketing public know which guys have played well for England and so far Rashid isn’t one of them.”
The five-match Test series starts with the first game at the Edgbaston on Wednesday.
“England will be wise to approach his first Test with the same intensity they showed when having to win the third ODI at Headingley to beat India in this series.
“Test matches tend to fluctuate. Sometimes they are on a knife edge and it is about character and mental toughness, so getting on top early helps all players gain confidence and allow people to relax and express themselves,” Boycott, who recently underwent a heart surgery, said.
“It is better that England get ahead early rather than having to come from behind and play catch-up cricket like we did against Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia. That is the key to it all.”