Rashid to play in 1st Test V India, despite all the furore

The build up to the 1st Test match between England and India starting at Edgbaston this Wednesday continues to be overshadowed by the debate around Adil Rashid’s selection, with Geoffrey Boycott the latest to give us his opinion on the matter.

In his regular Telegraph Sport column, Boycott has labelled Rashid a spoilt brat, who should never have been handed a Test recall. This is on top of criticism from the likes of Michael Vaughan who has already become embroiled in a war of words with Rashid, and criticism from the likes of Nasser Hussain, and even from his own county side, Yorkshire.

In fairness and in defence of Rashid, I think Boycott’s criticism is more of the spinners decision not to play red ball cricket for Yorkshire, as who can blame him for accepting the call up? By all means criticise Rashid for not playing against Lancashire in the recent Roses match, but not for getting called up for England. What was Rashid supposed to do, turn it down?

Adil Rashid

Rashid in his England cricket whites.

I can see the point of view the likes of Vaughan and Hussain have about county cricket, as I can totally see why it looks like a kick in the teeth for the likes of Jack Leach. Another way to look at it though, is that Ed Smith and the England selectors think that Rashid looks the best bet, and surely that is more of a damning indictment on County cricket, which we can’t blame Rashid for.

After all, Adil did say when he went onto a white ball only contract that there seemed little point in playing red ball cricket as he would hardly at the start of the season, and that he would re-evaluate the decision later in the year.

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It seems to me that the two issues are becoming mixed up, and are starting to overlap. It seems harsh to criticise him for playing for England, but fair game to criticise him for not playing red ball county cricket. They are surely two separate issues though, that are wrongly being mixed into one at the moment.

Rashid has been picked for England now, and all of this hype is overshadowing things, and is possibly putting no end of pressure on him. I think the time has come to get off his back, and let him get on with playing.

England V India 4th Test – Is there still time left for a result?

Play was lost on Day 2 of the 4th Test due to a soggy outfield, and with more bad weather on the way for Sunday, could it end up being an unfit playing field that prevents there being a result in this Test match?

Assuming we get an uninterrupted day of play today (Saturday) at Old Trafford, will it be that the result will have to be forced today? As stupid as that may sound, it is a possibility.

The outfield at Old Trafford was unfit to use yesterday evening after the latest deluge, so with a month’s rain forecast to fall on Sunday (Day 4), how can we be sure that the ground will be fit for play on Monday (Day 5)?

The Old Trafford outfield has looked more like a lake on a couple of occasions over the past two to three weeks, and as good as any drainage system may be, there is only so much water it can take.

Could there be the option to cover the offending area on Sunday? Maybe, I’m not a groundsman. It does sounds like common sense to cover up the area, but I don’t know if covering up a swamp like area may make it worse, due to the ground sweating, etc. Only time will tell there.

England are 2/5 to win this Test match, at the moment that sounds a bit too risky to me. The draw is a best price of 5/2 with bet365, while India are 12/1 to pull off what would have looked like a very unlikely victory when they were 8/4 on Day 1.

If you are trading the Test match on Betfair, laying England with a view to backing them could be the best trading option here.

If they bat too long and look like like taking time out of the game, they may drift. If it rains they will drift, and if they lose wickets, they may drift – be wary of the losing wickets scenario though, as the market may see this as a quicker way of getting a result, and this might not result in the price swings you may expect.

Jos Buttler odds to be top scorer in 3rd Test

Jos Buttler makes his England debut in the 3rd Test against India tomorrow (Sunday 27th July), and England will be desperately hoping he will hit the ground running as they are already 1-0 down in this 5 match series.

If you think Buttler can make an immediate impact, he is a best price of 12/1 with (bet365 who have a £200.00 Welcome Bonus for new customers) to be top scorer in the 1st innings of the 3rd Test match.

The top 6 batsmen will be the same for this Test match, and of the those batsmen, Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, Gary Ballance and Joe Root are all 4/1 to be top scorer. Sam Robson is 9/2 and Moeen Ali is 7/1.

Of those players, only Balance, Root and Ali have shown any real form with the bat, with Cook, Robson and Bell all struggling badly. If the top 6 fail again, then there is every possibility that Buttler could top score. But given the way things have been going for Alastair Cook and England lately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see James Anderson top score with the bat, it really has got to the stage where anything can happen.

As well as this offer on Buttler, Betfair are also offering all new customers 9/1 on England winning the 3rd Test. This is a new customers only offer, and the maximum bet is £10.00. More information to follow in next blog post………….