Strauss sees silver lining in Rashid
Andrew Strauss hailed Adil Rashid’s fine all-round performance in the narrow defeat to Australia in the first NatWest Series one-day international.
Rashid’s leg-spin helped limit Australia to 260 for five on a slow pitch at the Brit Oval before a late onslaught with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 31 from 23 balls, revived England’s hopes of victory.
Australia held on to win by four runs and exact a modicum of revenge for their Ashes defeat on the same ground last month.
But Rashid took his chance in the absence of Andrew Flintoff to prove he could be the long-term answer as England’s all-rounder.
“I thought Adil Rashid was excellent, the way he bowled and the way he batted at the end,” said Strauss.
“We have always known Adil is a very talented individual both with the ball and the bat.
“Just recently for Yorkshire he has been putting in more consistent performances and he is starting to realise that talent.
“Today, in a big game for him, I thought the way he bowled was exceptional. Someone like Michael Clarke, who is a very good player of spin, struggled against him for a while.
“He has the capabilities to be a genuine all-rounder which is exciting. This is the start of his career.
“Luke Wright has just got back in the side. I like the talent on offer.”
Clarke was equally impressed with Rashid and admitted to being slightly surprised not to have faced him more during the tour.
“He bowled really well. I thought he might have played a part in the Test series,” said the Australian captain.
“He is a wonderful player with plenty of talent and he has got a bright future. I couldn’t seem to hit him for any runs tonight.”
Australia felt they were 20 runs short of a decent total but none of England’s batsmen could build the big innings required to see the side home.
The tourist were helped by an unbeaten 71 from Callum Ferguson and 53 from Cameron White but no England batsman reached 50.
Ravi Bopara was stumped for 49 and Owais Shah trod on his stumps for 40.
Luke Wright, who blasted a quickfire 38, and Rashid brought England back into the game but Australia held out for the victory.
“When you are chasing 260 you need one of your batters to go on and make a big score. None of our batters were able to do that,” said Strauss.
“There were plenty of contributions but no-one made a sizeable enough one to tilt the game in our favour.
“If you want to win consistently one of your top four or five needs to get hundreds more often than not.
“That is an area we are looking to address. we weren’t able to do it today. Hopefully we will be able to put that right on Sunday.”