Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ben Backing Rashid to Get over His Debut Woes; Durham All-Rounder Says Resilient England Teammate Will Bounce Back

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ben Backing Rashid to Get over His Debut Woes; Durham All-Rounder Says Resilient England Teammate Will Bounce Back

Article excerpt

ADIL Rashid's team-mate Ben Stokes is confident the leg-spinner will have no trouble putting his miserable Test debut figures behind him.

Rashid's none for 163 gives him the all-time worst analysis by any Test debutant, as the hopes England placed in spin came to nought in Pakistan's 523 for eight declared at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Shoaib Malik's 245, and a century too from Asad Shafiq, left England surely needing to bat the majority of the remaining three days to avoid going 1-0 down at the start of their three-match series.

Their slow bowlers, including one over of off-spin from Stokes - who took late wickets with his more accustomed seam to finish with four for 57 - conceded 302 runs without a single success.

But after Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali provided hope that England may be able to mount a credible rearguard by reaching stumps on 56 without loss, Stokes reported there will be no mid-match team inquest into what went wrong for Rashid and others.

"I think it's just to do with how good sub-continent players are against spin," he said.

"We aren't looking into that deeply at all."

Shafiq (107) shared a fifth-wicket stand of 248 with Shoaib - and con-firmed afterwards that Pakistan had deliberately targeted Rashid in his first Test.

"We made a plan against Adil Rashid not to let him settle," he said.

"We wanted to attack him, because he was on debut."

Stokes believes the Yorkshireman has the mettle to bounce back, when his next chance comes.

"He doesn't seem to get down too much, or too high," the all-rounder added.

"I've played a bit of one-day cricket with him - and when he's done well he hasn't got outside of his box or celebrated over the top.

"I think he's a pretty level-minded cricketer, and I think he'll be able to put this behind him."

Rashid could be forgiven some doubts, after toiling on a pitch offering so little to the bowlers. …

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