Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Struggling Rashid Bats Away Fears over Injury Problems

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Struggling Rashid Bats Away Fears over Injury Problems

Article excerpt

ADIL Rashid insists he is fully fit to play his part at the business end of the World Cup despite an ongoing shoulder problem.

The leg-spinner was the most prolific wicket-taker in one-day cricket in the four-year cycle between tournaments, with 129 dismissals in 83 games.

He has been unusually quiet on England's charge to the semi-final, though, and his numbers tell their own story.

He has just eight wickets in nine matches, an average of 54.12 and the worst economy rate in the squad at 5.85 an over. In the last two games he has been called on to bowl only 11 overs out of a possible 20.

The 31-year-old does have mitigation, most notably a muscular impingement in his right shoulder - an issue which flared up at the start of the summer and which requires regular attention from the medical staff.

Chances have also gone begging, at least two in the deep and one missed stumping by Jos Buttler, and even though Rashid contributed a fine run-out against New Zealand England will surely need him to relocate his best with the ball if they are to land the trophy.

He said: "Just before the World Cup I had an injection on the shoulder problem. I had the niggle a month ago.

"It's all good for now, I'm 100%. There have been some games where I felt as though I've been a bit unlucky, there's been a few dropped catches and missed stumpings and whatever. If you take all that in things could be completely different, I could easily be on 15 or 16 wickets.

"That's part and parcel of cricket but we're winning and we are through to the semis, so we're in a good place."

Rashid said on the eve of the competition the wear and tear had made his best weapon, a fizzing googly, "harder to come by" and he has certainly produced fewer magic balls than previously.

He does not shy away from the fact and has been working with former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq to plot his way back to form. …

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