ADIL RASHID saw his chances of playing in a first test on home soil enhanced after being retained in England’s squad for tomorrow’s clash with pakistan at Old Trafford.
Alastair Cook announced that England pace pair Steven Finn and Jake Ball will miss the second Test which starts on Friday, while leaving themselves the option of choosing leg-spinning all-rounder Rashid as they seek to battle back after losing by 75 runs at Lord’s.
The hosts still appear more likely, though, to name incumbent spinner Moeen Ali in their final XI, however, alongside a four-man pace attack which is set to include James Anderson and all-rounder Ben Stokes - both returning from injury.
“We’re going to name a 12 - Steven Finn and Bally are missing out.,” said England captain Cook at his preview press conference.
“That means, obviously, Ben Stokes and Jimmy Anderson are back in - and Adil’s going to be in the 12, just depending on what happens to that wicket by tomorrow.”
Rashid could yet be included as England try to battle back in a four-match series, initially at a venue known to favour spin.
“I think he has got a chance,” added Cook.
“Again, it just depends what happens to that wicket over the next 12 hours.
“We want to have that option.
“It’s tough on Jake and Steven. Jake on debut (at Lord’s) bowled better than just taking one wicket (suggests).”
Pakistan, meanwhile, are about to unleash their match-winning leg-spinner Yasir Shah again.
He took a blow to his shoulder batting in the nets on Wednesday, but scans showed no significant damage.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said: “That was a wake-up call for him.
“It was a bit of a concern - but after the scan I think he’s okay. So no worries.”