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11-Sep-2009 02:48:00 GMT
England v Australia, 4th ODI, Lord's

England Look to Rashid for Leg Spin and Runs

London: Adil Rashid bowls leg-spin for a county with an ingrained suspicion of the unorthodox in a country where conditions seldom encourage wrist-spinners.

A generation ago these factors alone would have ensured the 21-year-old Yorkshireman played in undeserved obscurity before a scattering of spectators in one of England's Asian leagues.

For a start, Yorkshire have traditionally distrusted any hint of the exotic, particularly bowlers who deliver out of the back of the hand.

More controversially they neglected for too long the wealth of talent available among the ethnic minorities. Rashid was only the third British-born Asian cricketer to force his way into the Yorkshire team when he made his debut three years ago.

For their part, England have sought in vain for a match-winning wrist-spinner for more than half a century with Ian Salisbury the only player to get anything like an extended run in the past 20 years. Salisbury's figures of 20 wickets from 15 Tests at 76.95 each speak for themselves.

Hence the excitement over Rashid, who has been carefully nurtured by both county and country.

He was sent to the Caribbean with the England team this year to gain experience and showed maturity and composure during England's brief Twenty20 World Cup campaign.

Rashid then played his first 50-overs international against Ireland after the successful Ashes series before making his debut against Australia at the Oval last Friday.

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