England news January 19, 2010

Time out will help Rashid - Flower

Cricinfo staff

England's coach, Andy Flower, believes that Adil Rashid still has some growing to do as a cricketer and will only get better with experience, after he was overlooked for selection for England's forthcoming tour to Bangladesh and sent instead to UAE with the England Lions.

Rashid a difficult time on the recent tour of South Africa. He began the trip amid high hopes that his combination of legspin and promising lower-order batting could cement a permanent role in the side, but his solitary over in the second Twenty20 went for 25, then he bowled three overs for 27 in the second ODI before being left out for a fit-again Graeme Swann.

When he was released from the one-day party, James Tredwell, the Kent offspinner who has since been picked for the trip to Bangladesh, remained on stand-by which suggested Rashid had fallen down the pecking order. His omission from the Bangladesh touring party has only confirmed that impression.

"We've had Adil on various tours recently, starting with the West Indies tour a year ago," Flower told reporters in Johannesburg. "He's been given little snippets of exposure to international competition and he's been left out of the Bangladesh tour, as you know.

"I think it will do him a lot of good to go back and play a lot of cricket for Yorkshire and to work out his own game, to work out what works for him, to understand his game better, and to come back into the England side, whenever that might be, a more knowledgeable and tougher cricketer."

However, according to Ajmal Shahzad, Rashid's Yorkshire team-mate who will be making the trip with the full national side, Rashid is still very much in the England frame, and will benefit from some time away from the spotlight. "I think he knows he's involved with the England Lions, which doesn't mean he's out of the frame," Shahzad told Cricinfo. "He's definitely in there. He's one of the most talented young cricketers in this country and possibly in the world. You're not going to find another one like Adil - a legspinning batsman - he's brilliant at what he does.

"He's maturing, he's learning the game as he goes on," added Shahzad. "He's been around the England set up a while now. I think the next couple of years are going to be massive for him, to play possibly some domestic cricket and some England Lions cricket where the media and the attention aren't on him will help him massively and hopefully he'll make the step up and propel himself. "

"I think I'm still developing and I'm obviously quite young in the international arena," Rashid told Pongo Cricket, prior to the squad announcement. "I've played a handful of one-day internationals for England now and it's all about just trying to play as many games as possible and gaining more experience as an international cricketer. "

For now, Rashid's experience will come from playing with the England Lions and with Yorkshire, but he sees the Lions as a good warm-up for international cricket. "England Lions is the next step towards playing international cricket and helps you gain that necessary experience," he said. "That experience of playing within an England environment is crucial.

"It's different to tour with England Lions because you don't know many of the players you're playing with. Playing for Yorkshire is more familiar, playing with guys you've grown up with and played with for a few years. There is a difference and it's a good warm-up for playing international cricket. "