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McCullum becoming England red-ball coach gives Adil Rashid hope of Test return

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London, June 7 (Ajit Weekly News) The appointment of Brendon McCullum as England’s Test team head coach has given 34-year-old spinner Adil Rashid hope of returning to the Test side after being sidelined from the five-day format for more than three years.

The leg-spinner last played a Test for England against the West Indies at Barbados in January 2019, and feels that with the new setup of coach McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes, it could be “exciting times” for the longest form of cricket in the country.

Rashid has continued to prosper in limited-overs cricket, winning the World Cup and becoming England’s leading T20 wicket-taker, but he continues to be on the fringes of Test cricket, though that could change as he and all-rounder Moeen Ali have been “tapped up” by McCullum, according to Daily Mail.

“It’s always exciting when something new comes along,” Rashid was quoted as saying in the report. “Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes both like to be positive and attacking. That drives me on and it’s very exciting.

“Brendon’s reached out to me — just a text to check how things are. I’ve not closed the door on Test cricket. I’ve not retired, or anything like that. It’s something that’s still there. It’s everyone’s dream to play Test cricket and I’m no different.”

Recently Moeen Ali, who retired from Test cricket last year to prolong his white-ball career, too had said that he was not averse to coming out of retirement if the new England Test coach so desired.

Rashid was dropped from the England side after playing his 19th Test, against the West Indies at Barbados in January 2019, as he returned forgettable figures of none for 117 in the team’s loss. Pace bowler Stuart Broad replaced him in Antigua. Rashid then began his preparations for the World Cup at home and the rest is history.

But his Test aspirations were ignited when McCullum “tapped” Rashid and Moeen after taking over the England job from Chris Silverwood recently.

“He’s (Moeen) like a brother to me. It’s definitely a conversation we’d have, and that would inspire me. It (Test return) could happen. But for us to get to that point, a lot else has got to happen too,” added Rashid.

“But things have changed. There are exciting times ahead… For me, the door isn’t closed,” he said.

–Ajit Weekly News

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