Adil Rashid ready to play through the pain barrier for England’s World Cup cause
England spinner Adil Rashid is hoping to nurse his shoulder through the World Cup with the help of “a few pills and a few stretches”.
Rashid has been managing muscle impingement in his right shoulder in recent weeks, an issue which helped persuade selectors to bring slow left-armer Liam Dawson into the 15-man squad as spin cover.
Yorkshire’s Rashid admits his bowling can be affected when the pain strikes but is confident that he will be able to perform to the best of his ability during the six-week tournament, which starts against South Africa tomorrow.
“Hopefully, I’m fully fit, or verging on fully fit, and coming into the game I’ll be ready to go,” he said.
“I’ve had a bit of wear and tear over the years, which can happen. It does affect me if I’ve got that impingement or pain, the rotation can be a bit difficult and you may not get the revs you want.
“The drift, the dip, the googly is a bit harder to come by. But it’s just about managing it, getting the right treatment from the physio and getting rehab.
“I’m sure I’ll get through with a few pills and a few stretches. I’m ready to go for the whole tournament.”
Rashid will come up against fellow leg-spinner Imran Tahir at The Oval, with both men likely to play a major role for their team in the coming weeks.
“He’s a world-class bowler and he’s proved that over the last 10 years. He’s got variations and a bit of character, too, which is positive,” said Rashid.
“I’ve gone for dinner with him a few times, I’ve told him a few things and he’s told me a few things. It’s good helping each other out and maybe it will be his day against us or maybe it will be my day.”
Rashid’s England team-mate Jofra Archer, meanwhile, seems to have taken international cricket in his stride so far and believes he can continue improving as the World Cup gets under way.
Archer has been in the England set-up for less than a month but seems certain to take up new-ball duties in the tournament opener.
His smooth run-up and unsettling pace have left team-mates and pundits purring since he made his debut against Ireland, even though he has bowled only 26 competitive overs and taken five wickets to date.
If that looks like a slim body of work then it only tells half the story, for Archer has already proved himself at ease on the big stage with two standout seasons in the Indian Premier League as well as a starring role in Australia’s Big Bash.
“I feel pretty good, it (international cricket) is not much different to anything I’ve been doing recently so it doesn’t feel like a big transition,” he said.
“I’ve been put in pressure situations a few times since playing out in India, so I think I know what to look forward to if it happens.
“You can’t say for certain what’s going to come because it’s cricket. It’s an unknown really. I’m just going in with an open mind. I would say there is a bit more to come.
“For me nothing has changed, I still have to do the same things. I need to hit the top of off stump and bowl as straight as possible.
“Then at the back end there is the change of pace and yorkers. In a way, I’ve got a dream gig – bowling the same thing in both formats.”
Archer admitted he would rather have had a few more spells in England colours, despite wrapping up his personal preparations with three wickets in the warm-up drubbing of Afghanistan, but is also glad to be heading into his first global competition well rested.
“I wish I had bowled a few more overs, I’ve bowled about 20 overs in the last month in a match situation, which isn’t really ideal,” he said.
“I think 40 would have been good, double what I’ve done, but the flip side of that is you get to rest and I’ve had a long six months.”
Ottis Gibson, the former England bowling coach now in charge of South Africa, is pleased to see his Bajan compatriot doing well.
“He’s fresh, he’s obviously talented, he’s got a lot of pace and he’s from Barbados so I’m glad that they picked him,” he said.
“He’s a very good kid, so I’m really pleased for him. He’s got a lot of talent, bowls quickly and he’s a match-winner.
“Hopefully, he won’t have much of a say in this game but have a really good tournament after.”