Adil Rashid thanks Trevor Bayliss for boosting his confidence

Published: Sunday 4th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Trevor Bayliss has given Adil Rashid renewed confidence, and licence to attack, as he prepares for a belated Test debut against Pakistan.

Rashid made the first of his 23 limited-overs appearances for England more than six years ago, and the Yorkshireman freely admits there have been moments since when the concept of a maiden Test has seemed distant.

Bayliss made it clear on day one of the tour of the United Arab Emirates, however, that he expects Rashid to play in the forthcoming three Tests as the tourists set their stall in an attack of two frontline spinners and three seamers.

As Rashid therefore bids to confirm his readiness in the first of two warm-up matches against Pakistan A, starting in Sharjah on Monday, he is thankful for the coach’s backing and thoughtful man-management.

It has not always been abundantly apparent that the leg-spinner has found a home in England’s Test environment, under previous management, despite being included in several squads at home and abroad.

But in the hope that they have found the key to unleashing his potential, Bayliss and captain Alastair Cook have mapped out his gameplan as the extra attacking spin option alongside Moeen Ali.

Rashid said: “Trevor’s always given me that backing and confidence, especially around the one-day side and in the nets.

“He’s always talking to me and giving me that backing – so for him to say that (I will make my debut) is very exciting and gives me a real confidence-booster.”

Bayliss kept a close eye at practice on Sunday, England’s first venture to the Sharjah Cricket Club after two previous net sessions in Dubai, not just on Rashid but his fellow spinners Moeen and Samit Patel.

All can be expected to have an opportunity, with a fluid approach agreed as to the format and deployment of extra squad players in both two-day fixtures against a Pakistan second-string side led by Junaid Khan this week.

It is also set to become clearer whether England will deploy Moeen as Cook’s Test match opening partner, or consider a second debutant in Alex Hales.

None of that will have a direct impact, of course, on Rashid – who ought to have much in his favour in these classic spinners’ conditions.

“I feel ready, as if my game is coming along,” said the 27-year-old.

“My job is to get in the team to create chances and be that wicket-taker. I’m looking to be aggressive and positive.”

Sharjah may be less bracing than Scarborough at this time of year, but Bradfordian Rashid nonetheless simply intends to export his skills to England’s advantage in the searing 45 degree temperatures.

“You’ve just got to get on with it and get used to it very quickly and put that heat out of our mind and just concentrate on cricket.

“It’s quite a big game for me and I hope I can go out there and do the things I do for Yorkshire – keeping it simple and looking to attack.

“That’s what I’m planning to do tomorrow, and if I get the call later as well.”

He will also set aside those old doubts about his progress to the highest level.

“I think any player has them – but as time has gone on, I’ve matured as a player and as a person as well,” he added.

“In the past couple of years I’ve got a lot of confidence back as well, so I hope I can now carry that on into further cricket.”

Rashid will do so without a backward step, under orders to put the opposition under pressure whenever possible.

“I’m there as a strike bowler,” he said.

“My aim is to go out there, enjoy it, create chances, be attacking and let everything else take care of itself.”

England (possible) v Pakistan A at Sharjah (starting at 7am BST): AN Cook (Captain), MM Ali, IR Bell, JE Root, JWA Taylor, BA Stokes, JC Buttler (wkt), AU Rashid, SCJ Broad, ST Finn, JM Anderson

Published: Sunday 4th October 2015 by The News Editor

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