Warne's spin doctor aids Rashid
England newcomer Adil Rashid has followed Shane Warne onto the international stage and even uses the Australian’s mentor for advice.
Leg-spinner Rashid made a good first impression against Australia at the Brit Oval yesterday, having been inspired to take up the art by Warne, arguably the greatest bowler that ever lived.
And he was also discovered by Terry Jenner, the same man who turned Warne into something special.
Jenner, 64, plucked Rashid from one of his Brian Johnston Memorial Trust coaching clinics six years ago after spotting his potential.
Such is their bond in fact that Rashid, 21, still speaks with Jenner, most recently last month during the latest search for a spin star at Kirkstall Cricket Club in Leeds and the national performance centre at Loughborough.
Discussing their relationship, Rashid said: “It has been good for me.
“I have worked with him since I was 15. I’ve been to see him twice in Australia to work on my bowling and he has been a big influence on my development.
“To bowl leg-spin you have got to learn the basics. Alignment and head position that is the key for bowling in a consistent area and getting a shape and spin.
“I spoke to him two weeks ago, he was in England coaching at the time in Yorkshire. Just to have a general chat about my performances and where I am at at the moment.
“It is a friendship. I grew up with him and talking with him I learn about myself, my development and the game.”
Yorkshire all-rounder Rashid returned figures of 10-0-37-0 and struck an unbeaten 31 in the opening match of the NatWest Series, which resumes tomorrow at Lord’s.
His emergence in international cricket has come through his bowling and although he has worked most recently with England’s spin coach Mushtaq Ahmed, Rashid also credits Warne’s advice as crucial in his development.
“I spoke to Shane Warne a couple of times,” Rashid explained.
“We played Hampshire two years ago and I went to the dressing room and had a little chat with him about my bowling and general cricket talk.
“We were talking about how to set batsmen up, the different types of delivery and field placing.
“As I was growing up I was watching Shane Warne bowling on TV and he was my role model.”
Rashid’s tendency to hit peak form at the end of the summer has been enacted once more and unbeaten hundreds and five-wicket doubles in both recent LV= County Championship matches against Hampshire and Lancashire meant he stepped up to the top level in good shape.
Australia were intent on keeping their wickets intact against Rashid’s bowling in the series opener and were taken to the very last ball after Rashid came in at 178 for six, with England requiring 83 off 8.3 overs.
“It was nice to perform with bat and ball but I have still got a long way to go,” Rashid insisted.
“It has increased my confidence bowling to the Australians, who are a great team.
“The more you play, the more confidence you get, and hopefully I can show that in the next game.
“I have still got a long way to go and I’ve got to improve a hell of a lot.”