Somerset v Yorkshire, Div 1, Taunton, 2nd day April 14, 2014

Rashid for England? A little Bird says so

Somerset 166 for 3 trail Yorkshire 450 (Rashid 108, Lyth 85, Ballance 77) by 284 runs

It is five years since Adil Rashid last played for England, not in the five day game, as was predicted for him, but in instant cricket as well as in a drinks carrying role that was supposed to equate with gathering experience. No less a luminary than Dickie Bird is now predicting a resumption of his international career, and he made the ideal start by reaching a century against a county whose bowlers he has always relished facing.

Three of Rashid's first-class centuries have come against Somerset. Having made 84 overnight, he progressed to three figures with 17 fours off 167 balls without undue alarm. If anything, the pitch was easier to bat on than on the first day, emphasising the old adage that if wickets are not taken in the first hour of the match at Taunton, they might never be taken at all. Yorkshire will have been disappointed not to have finished with a larger total than 450, having resumed on 342 for five.

Craig Overton, who had Rashid caught at the wicket and also dismissed the other overnight batsman, Andrew Hodd, well taken by Marcus Trescothick two handed above his head, could, and perhaps should, have been given the new ball ahead of Alfonso Thomas and Lewis Gregory. He and his twin brother, Jamie, who has not been selected for this match, very much represent the future for a county in transition.

Hodd had reached a half century with ten fours off 81 balls and Liam Plunkett made useful runs besides. Two of the last three wickets were taken by Johann Myburgh, who finds himself the sole spinner in Somerset's side - doubtless somewhat to his surprise. It is rather stating the obvious that it is hard to envisage him bowling out opponents this summer, even when the pitches are drier and firmer.

Any remaining life in this pitch would be needed to be extracted by Ryan Sidebottom with the new ball when Somerset's innings began. Marcus Trescothick began by taking two fours off his opening over and followed this with a further four, leg glanced, when he made to play a similar shot at the next ball, or at any rate close the face of the bat.

Late movement across him resulted in the loss of his off stump. On the roof of the Old Pavilion, Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire's coach, was thoroughly animated. So was Sidebottom. Whatever ghis form last season might indicate, this remains a wicket that is highly prized.

Chris Jones, who played watchfully off the back foot in compiling a half century off 103 balls and, in making 75, his highest championship score. At the other end, Nick Compton, seeking some decent early season notches in an attempt to regain his England place - no-one can have worked harder towards this end in the winter, chiefly in the indoor school at Lord's with Neil Burns, his mentor - fell back on accumulation.

He did not find the boundary until the 86th ball of his innings, and had made 32 in all when Plunkett bowled him with what looked to be a good, honest straight delivery. Jones went before the close, by when Rashid had had a bowl. Modestly, he said that he feels he needs "another season or two with both bat and ball" of progression in order to come into selection for international cricket once again.

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  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    I think Rashid needs a strong season with bat and ball to be in contention for playing for England in test cricket or any of the 2 limited over formats he probably needs about 1000 county championship runs and 50+ wickets to get himself into contention

  • Mark on April 15, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    well Borthwick managed to get picked for an Ashes test batting at 8 and offering a spin bowling option so there is a direct comparison to be made. Rashid may be the better current option as he has already had one negative experience with England, gone away and come back over the last season or two the better for it when it looked like he may fall by the wayside. Shades of Schofield a few years back who had similar fortunes. Judging leg spinners in April is fool hardy when the seamers can barely grip the ball and the wickets are not conducive to wrist spinners taking a hatful of wickets.

  • John on April 15, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    Rashid needs to take wickets if he's to challenge for an England place. He's a decent batsman, but there are too many others ahead of him to pick him on that alone. Spin bowlers, on the other hand, are so scarce that a place is there for the taking for anyone who can get batsmen out, especially if they can also contribute a few runs. At the moment Ali and Root look likely to be England's spin 'attack' this season.

  • Samuel on April 14, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    Any word on Craig Overton? I heard he picked up an injury, is it likely to keep him out of the rest of the game? Otherwise disappointing - bad call from Tresco at the toss and going in without a spinner, although they've held up well with the bat thus far. Still plenty of work to be done to get out of the game without a defeat though.

    As for Rashid, I'd hope he was being considered for his bowling as well as his batting, to be honest. He'd make a very good Test 8 I think, but it's a question as to whether his bowling is international class. I for one would like to see him back in the frame if only for how poorly he was handled first time around, but I wouldn't say he's a dramatically improved bowler since then. There are very few candidates out there who can claim to have over 300 first class wickets like he does though, so there is justification for the selectors to at least consider him.

  • Tim on April 14, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    An enjoyable day of cricket in unbelievable sunshine for the middle of April!

    Positives for Somerset today - the bowling of Craig Overton and the batting of Chris Jones.

    Overall advantage Yorkshire - their total can be matched by Somerset but everyone in the batting line up will need to contribute. Another 300 runs still needed.

    Hopeful that Pietersen and Hildreth bat at their best tomorrow but draw is really all they can aim for in this match.

    Having said that Yorkshire looked a really strong side in all areas and that was minus Bairstow, Root and Bresnan. I'm sure they will be challenging for the title again this season.

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