County news

Rashid the one to blame - Boycott

Myles Hodgson

May 30, 2012

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Adil Rashid bowls in Kent's first innings, Yoskhire v Kent, Headingley, April, 5, 2012
Adil Rashid was dropped for the first time in his career © Getty Images

Geoffrey Boycott, Yorkshire's new president, has risked alienating another British-born Asian player from the club by urging Adil Rashid to take responsibility for his own actions after being dropped for the first time in his county career.

Boycott has revealed the growing frustration at Rashid's performances, which have earned just nine wickets from six championship appearances this summer. His comments come just weeks after Ajmal Shahzad became so disillusioned at Yorkshire that he was released from his contract and joined Lancashire on loan until the end of the season.

Rashid's poor form prompted Yorkshire to omit him from their County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Headingley. It is the first time since he established himself in the side over five years ago that Rashid has been dropped and gave an opportunity for Azeem Rafiq, Yorkshire's emerging young offspinner, to make his first championship appearance for Yorkshire since 2010.

"He's never progressed, that's the sad part," Boycott said, speaking at the opening of Yorkshire's new club shop. "I think there are a lot of people in English cricket who wanted to have a legspinner playing for England but it's not about the type of bowling, it's the quality of bowling.

"You can't just pick people because they're legspinners. You have to pick the quality, that's what the England selectors are doing now. The kid may be able to bowl legspin, but you've got to drop it on a length to cause problems for a batsman and you can't be too expensive. Otherwise, the scoreboard rockets around and you can't control the game in the field."

Instead of meeting up with Yorkshire's first team, Rashid was sent to in a second team Twenty20 match in Bradford yesterday, which represents a stunning fall from grace for a player once regarded as a future England Test bowler and was included in their squad to tour India in 2008.

After an overhaul of their coaching structure, Yorkshire had high hopes for Rashid this summer and Jason Gillespie had encouraged him to be more attacking in his bowling following his appointment as head coach.

Rashid, though, has made little improvement from last season, where he had again fostered optimism by his part in South Australia's triumph in the Big Bash League. He began impressively with 11 wickets at Worcester but finished the summer with 39 wickets from 16 matches. It has prompted obvious questions about why his career and development has stalled.

"I don't think he has been mis-managed," Boycott explained. "It's easy to blame other people isn't it? You can always say, you didn't pick me enough or it's the coaches fault or you picked me too soon for England. You can throw out all the things you want, but in the end, it's up to you.

"You have to remember that cricket is an individual game within the framework of a team. When you're out batting, there's nobody on the end of a phone telling you how to play, you know. You've got to do some thinking yourself.

"You can help people but I'm not a great believer in the culture of blaming others. I don't believe in that culture. We have too much of that in England. Why not take responsibility yourself. Put your hand up and say 'hey, it's up to me, nobody else'."

Boycott had more encouragement for Jonny Bairstow, whose innings at Trent Bridge during a hostile spell from West Indies' fast bowler Kemar Roach has prompted many commentators to claim he has a weakness against the short ball.

"I don't think he's got a weakness - he's had one innings, so it's unwarranted," Boycott insisted. "I think he's very talented, but he's just a young kid and he's got a lot to learn. He knows that as well, he's not ahead of himself and he's quite clear about what he has to do. We've all had hiccups and problems but he's a young kid and to label him as having problems after one knock is grossly unfair."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2012, 21:19 GMT)

I think Rashid will take on board the criticism and come back a better player, he scored 49 and took 3/16 so a run in the seconds should hopefully regain his form as I think he has a future with England it is just a case of how badly he wants it. Everyone has dips in form it is just unfortunate his batting dip and bowling dip came at the same time hope to see him back in first team action soon through good performances in the seconds.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

What on earth is Boycott talking about! I have seen no evidence as to Rashid's refusal to take responsibility for his failures. This sort of response from the position that he is in, will just alienate Rashid. Boycott is a good cricket person but as a mentor and a communicator, well below par. Good luck to Rashid and Yorkshire.

Posted by big_al_81 on (May 31, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

@PACERONE would you be so good as to let us know which international attacks you scored your boundaries against? We can then check it out on Statsguru and make our own judgement about the quality of the bowling against which you were hooking in your day.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

I think people are being far too quick to slate Bairstow; he got out to some top-quality fast bowling from a man who's roughed up the likes of Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponting in the past. If he was to be dropped, who would bat in his place? Taylor's equally young and raw; Compton has been prolific this season but has had a few unremarkable ones prior to that; Morgan and Bopara were both completely out of their depth in test cricket. Bairstow impressed me at HQ, and I'd like to see the selectors persist with him.

Posted by jb633 on (May 31, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

I used to play a lot of cricket with Adil when we were growing up and I can't imagine that the lack of form will be due to lack of effort. Most probably he is finding it tough to come to terms with the terrible early season conditions. I think with the introduction of DRS leg spin as an art may begin to decline as finger spinners have come back into the game massivley with LBW's. Rashid's big problem is that he is not a huge spinner of the ball and with his lack of height, he relies upon flight to take his wickets. If you watch most good spinners at the moment (Ajmal, Narine, Rehman, Monty, Swann) they do not bowl as slowly as Rashid. I think batsmen have become better at playing slow spinners (better bats, smaller boundaries) but the quicker spinners are now getting heaps of LBW's, trapping the batsmen with the straight on ball. I don't feel Rashid can actually bowl quicker though as being so short it will force him to bowl to short. He faces a difficult conundrum.

Posted by stuartk319 on (May 31, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Problem is a 20 year old leggie takes some wickets and everyone hopes he is the next Shane Warne. Ian Salisbury did nicely to at least have a solid county career and look what happened to Chris Schofield under this crazy level of expectation. Graeme Swann responded to his kick in the pants by England and was allowed to gradually develop by Northants and then Notts; surely this is a better model to follow.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Rashid was always rated higher than his capability. He got wickets because he was a leggie - and championship batsmen can't play leggies. Rashid went to the T20 WC and got hammered by international batsmen who knew how to play him easily. We get carried away by leggies, and the fact he bats a bit, merely enhanced the hype.

But there is time. He's 24. He needs a good mentor and guide - and that will probably come away from Yorkshire.

Posted by mazhar1 on (May 31, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

why is Boycott laying into Rashid, i have not read or heard Rashid blame anybody! he is out of form , and his employers have decided to drop him! where's the drama?

And as a young player when your confidence is down , the last thing you need is your president laying into with out reason! no wonder Shazad left!

Posted by 200ondebut on (May 31, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

It's a shame Adil hasn't kicked on. Boycs is right though - he has to take responsibility for his own actions. That said there does seem to be a growing problem between Yorkshire management and the playes - it seems that they are struggling to get the best out of players. It may be best for him to move on.

Posted by barrick on (May 31, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

Back on the main story, this seems absolutely the right decision to me. It necessarily the end of his career; Adam Lyth has just returned after a long spell in 2nd XI cricket.

It is true that the pitches haven't helped in the first games of this season, but this is something that has been evident for over a year now. Given the time spent trying a more subtle approach with Shahzad, I'd be surprised if there hadn't been similar efforts with Adil over the same time, without real results.

Two innings (I'm not counting 3 balls in the 2nd innings at Lord's) is not long enough to judge Bairstow; 12 months is long enough with regard Rashid to my mind.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Despite their immense talent, British Asian players have never successfully crossed over to the national side. Shah, Ramprakash, Bopara, Saj Mahmood, Shehzad, Rashid, Bopara, etc.. all exceptionally talented but only had stop start international careers. Nasser Hussain was an exception but even he was in and out of an extremely poor England side. I wonder if its to do with the extra pressure they feel or a lack of support and feeling unwanted. Ajmal, Shah and Rashid were undeservedly dropped from the national side. This can especially affect a young players' confidence and re-establish age old feelings of being treated unfairly. It may be the reason that the two Yorkshire players' form has fallen away. How long before the talented Rafiq is wasted away.

Posted by barrick on (May 31, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

This relentless short-termism is absolutely mindless. If the debatable argument that he will not have faced international-standard aggressive quick bowling in county cricket is upheld, then the one thing any player coming into an international side from a county needs is time to adjust to the increased quality, having not faced it before.

That same argument would prevent some one like Compton being called up if Bairstow were to be dropped, so using that logic, we'd call Bopara back up. The same Bopara who made 42 in his first 5 Test innings.

Posted by Yevghenny on (May 31, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

When Rashid first came about there was an awful lot of public demand to get him in the England side, Ian Botham going as far as calling him "our best player, why would you leave him out?" at the start of the 7 match ODI series against Australia after he bowled 0-35 in 10 overs. There was so much being said whether it put pressure on him, or he believed too much, whatever, he will probably need a change of scenery and forget about all of this. still young, so time to rebuild and look at Swann as a great example that it certainly isn't over for Rashid with regards to England

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 31, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

@Optic - Onions, Finn and Tremlett? So he still has played a genuine fast bowler like Roach then.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (May 31, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

@Optic & @Patchmaster: always good to have a divergence of views - and indeed, I have not seen enough of Jonny Bairstow to know his game in detail. That he is highly promising and may well have a fine career as a Test player ahead of him is not my contention; I hope he does. No, my point is more immediate - that the Stein, Morkel & Philander ( a more formidable trio than the Windies attack at Trent Bridge, you'll agree) will give him a severe examination and he may just take his eye off the throat ball and leave his bat in the wrong place. What this will do for his confidence doesn't take a lot of working out. Cook, KP & more experienced players are unlikely to have the same confidence issue; they are fully established and are not trying to build a Test career. No matter what - if the selectors go with him (& I am not sure that they will v SA) - either you or I will be shown to be a poor judge. Confident assertions do not make a player, good scores v quality bowling do! Best wishes.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (May 31, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

Maybe it was a bad day , maybe he got a couple of awkward balls but the Windies obviously decided Bairstow was vulnerable and targeted him. And on that day he didnt handle it. End of story. He'll obviously get more of the same and until he does deal with it it will remain an issue. Thats what Test cricket is about ... testing new players and them reacting, adapting .....or having a short career.

Posted by brittop on (May 31, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

Seem to remember, a few years back, an after dinner speech by a Mr Boycott, that blamed the Yorkshire committee for several woes in his life. Just a reminder to him that everybody blames others from time to time, and sometimes the others are actually at fault.

Posted by AngryAngy on (May 31, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

I'm kind of surprised it's the first time he's been dropped. Especially a young leg spinner, his most important bowling is in the nets. Did Warne experience much of a career before the age of 24? Leggies who get overexposed to good batsmen end up trying to defend themselves rather than attack.

Posted by Patchmaster on (May 31, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

@ nutcutlet - so has KP got a weakness against left armers - so we should drop him ? Or Strauss a weakness outside off stump. Try not to jump on the bandwagon, just because of one innings. Otherwise every batsman who ever gets dimissed would get dropped.

Posted by DavidGowerLives on (May 30, 2012, 23:24 GMT)

Disappointed by Geoffrey's comments and the comparison between AR and JB. Both are young cricketers, both undoubtedly talented which is why they have both played for England but don't like the implication that Rashid is looking to blame others for his poor form. Where is the evidence for this assertion?

Posted by PACERONE on (May 30, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

We will see how well the English batsmen do against S.A.After the opening bowlers for W.I are off the bowling standard drops dramatically.Cook and Strauss can be worked out.W.I did not use any strategy with them.Boycott can defend JB as much as he wants but the kid will have to show that he can play short rising balls...not balls dropped half way down the pitch.Most Englishmen cannot play it either..but the way the wickets are gives them some relief. We used to hook balls for four that they duck under now...without any protective gear.

Posted by Harvey on (May 30, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

He needs a change of county. Things have obviously gone very wrong at Yorkshire. I don't see how being publicly criticised by his club president is going to do him any good, except maybe providing him with motivation to succeed at another club. I have great respect for Geoff Boycott's knowledge of the game, but I'm less sure about his interpersonal skills.

Posted by davidlister on (May 30, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

Geoffrey has probably seen Bairstow on thirty occassions, not two, and is therefore in a great position to give an opnion on the boy's bottle against the short stuff. He does not countenance bias, pro- Yorkshire (or pro-England for that matter), and instead calls it as he sees it, from a very expert standpoint. I for one trust his assessment on Bairstow.

Posted by rett on (May 30, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

@Yorkshire Pudding-Nathan Lyon with 42 wickets in 14 tests at an average of 27.8, and only 24 years old.Why would he be bother playing for Yorkshire?

Posted by Optic on (May 30, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

@Nutcutlet So let me get this straight because Bairstow got out to a bouncer he's got a short ball problem, so has Cook got a problem to outswingers from right handers, or KP he's been out on the pull before he must have a problem. I've watched lots of Bairtstow the last 3 years for Yorkshire and he hasn't a problem at all, in fact it's been the opposite he plays the bouncer very well and it's been a successful shot for him. He's played all kinds of fast bowlers the last 3 years in the first division and now in the second, from Onions to Finn to Tremeltt and every one inbetween. The one thing he may have to learn is to be more selective of when to play it, which happens to a lot of international players, think Steve Waugh, he just stopped playing it because he was so bad. I would suggest to you you don't know what you're talking about and haven't seen enough of Bairstow to form a opinion, the selectors have been watching him play for the last 2 years, they'd know if he had a problem

Posted by Trickstar on (May 30, 2012, 20:43 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding It's clear you haven't a clue what you're talking about, I've been to watch Yorkshire play 5 times this year and each time I left the ground thinking what the hell as happened to Rashid, he was appalling last year but he just seems to be going backwards rapidly. He can't land a ball in the same place twice, half trackers, full tosses and long hops are all he bowls. He seems to have gone confidence wise and technically he's all over the place. As far as Shahzad goes whether it turns out to be right or wrong only time will tell but the facts are his attitude stinks, he thinks he's better than he actually is, you only have to got to Headingley and watch him, he think he's a 95mph fast bowler, he isn't he's mid 80's at best and bowls all over the shop. Even when under instruction from the coach he simply won't ball to a plan, instead he'd rater ball pies as fast as e can. As far your comment about getting rid of Gilly,don't talk daft, I mean really.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (May 30, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

Its strange that since gillespe has arrived two players that have in the past performed for yorkshire, Both had played internationals, and been tipped for future england places at least in the odi form. However, Gilly had to get rid of a fast bowler to make way for a fellow Aussie to come in, what next will the be looking to get lyon in as the spinner. Get rid of Gilly and get a new coach.

Posted by nathangonmad on (May 30, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

I agree with Boycott, Adil has shown very little improvement since around 2009.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (May 30, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

Don't be daft, Geoffrey! Of course Jonny Bairstow's got a weakness - flinching when confronted by quick, short-pitched bowling! If Boycott doesn't think it counts (as a weakness), then I'm sure that the Saffer quicks will underscore the point that it does! They will have seen it. I would suggest that JB is not ready for Test cricket just yet. To pick him v SA would be most unwise - and possibly set him back years. The selectors must go on the evidence that they have seen, not Boycott's rather biassed judgement.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

I think u'll find he has had 2 innings Geoffrey. A 16 at Lords and a 4 at Trent Bridge. Makes u wonder what else he's got wrong...

Posted by whatawicket on (May 30, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

not sure from last seasons efforts that GB talks about. but hell its been the wettest may for years. a leggie i thought needed dry pitches and outfields.

Posted by Kula_Bowls_Inswing on (May 30, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

I can understand the frustration, and it is true that Rashid has got to take ultimate responsibility for his own game, but I don't totally agree that you cannot blame others for his handling. Yes, he wasn't great last season, but not many at Yorkshire were and yes, he's had a tough time so far this season, but was a leg spinner really going to take many wickets given the abysmal spring weather? perhaps they should persist with him a little longer, now the weather has improved dramatically and the pitches have started to dry. He also didn't receive brilliant handling by England in South Africa in 2008/9. It's true that no team can carry players who aren't pulling their weight, but he needs to regain confidence by bowling a lot of overs and batting in the middle order, not playing T20. Hopefully the 2nd XI (or his club) will give him the opportunity to do this soon, away from the spotlight.

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