England will hold talks with Adil Rashid about the possibility of returning to the Test arena for proposed tours of Sri Lanka and India once their ODI series against Australia is over, Chris Silverwood says.
Leg-spinner Rashid, who has not played a Test since January 2019 on England's tour of the Caribbean, claimed 3 for 21 off his four overs to send a huge scare through Australia before the visitors scraped to victory in their final T20I at Southampton on Tuesday.
Rashid's performance led Moeen Ali, standing in as captain for the match in place of the injured Eoin Morgan, to declare, "when he's bowling like that, I think he's the best in the world". It also continued a strong home summer for Rashid, who troubled Australia throughout their three-match T20I series, won 2-1 by England, and bowled well during the ODIs against Ireland.
Echoing comments by national selector Ed Smith last month which indicated Rashid is on the Test radar despite not holding a red-ball contract, Silverwood, England's head coach, revealed on Wednesday that Rashid's path back to the long format could come via a red-ball training camp now that the Bob Willis Trophy competition is drawing to a close.
With England hoping to tour Sri Lanka for two Tests - postponed earlier this year when the Covid-19 pandemic struck - and India in the coming winter, Rashid's skill could prove to be in high demand for the tourists.
Asked whether his stated desire to see Rashid play red-ball cricket before being selected in the Test side ruled him out of such a tour, Silverwood said: "Maybe not."
"There's a possibility of a red-ball camp with some competitive games on there," Silverwood added. "Only a possibility mind you, depending on what's happening around the world."
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Rashid suffered a shoulder injury during the 2019 home summer and needed two cortisone injections to get through the World Cup. He underwent a lengthy rehabilitation period and, as recently as April, said he had decided to concentrate purely on white-ball cricket until September before reconsidering his options.
He signed a white-ball only contract with Yorkshire for this year and his involvement with England's limited-overs sides during a condensed season would have given him little or no opportunity to play on the red-ball county circuit anyway.
Silverwood said he had been in discussions with Rashid about returning to the longer format but he wanted to put those talks on hold for the rest of the international summer, which concludes with three ODIs against Australia from Friday.
"My thoughts on that situation remain the same," Silverwood said. "I'd like to see him with a red ball in his hand before we select him. Conversations are ongoing, it's slowly-slowly. What I don't want to do is cloud what we are doing at the moment with conversations outside of white ball. Obviously I have got another chat to have, but I would like to see him play red ball-cricket before selecting him."
Asked if Rashid had an appetite to play red-ball cricket again, having gone through a long recovery from injury and declared his focus on white-ball cricket for now, Silverwood said: "They are ongoing conversations with Rash and I wouldn't want to cloud too much what we are doing, we have a one-day series to win first and we will then hold those conversations."
Rashid is part of England's 14-man squad for the ODI series against Australia in Manchester which also features the return of Jos Buttler from family leave and Jason Roy from a side strain. Morgan is expected to return after missing the third T20I after dislocating his finger in the second match.
Dawid Malan was drafted into the England bubble as a reserve following his performance in the T20Is in which he amassed 129 runs, won a Player-of-the-Match award for his 66 in the first game and went to the top of the ICC world rankings for T20 batsmen. Saqib Mahmood and Phil Salt are the other reserves.
Despite a hectic season squeezed into three months and compounded by the strict isolation protocols designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Silverwood expected his side would have no trouble lifting once more for the remaining matches, particularly with a view to the Ashes at the end of next year.
"It's Australia," he said. "They are all up for it, they all want to play against Australia. They have a really good team over with them and it's always competitive. I'm looking forward to a good one-day series.
"The one thing everybody feels in the dressing room is any win over Australia is great. They are a top side, and are very difficult to beat. Anything we can get psychologically over them [before the Ashes] would be fantastic. One thing you can guarantee is that every time they play they will come out fighting."