Adil Rashid to face India as England opt to go for just one spinner

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Adil Rashid has been named as the the lone spinner in England’s line-up for the opening Specsavers Test against India at Edgbaston.

The inclusion of Rashid in the 13-man squad last week proved divisive because of the leg-spinner signing a white-ball only deal with his county Yorkshire earlier this year.

Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott have been notable critics of the decision but Rashid will earn his 11th Test cap, and first on home soil, on Wednesday.

Fellow spinner Moeen Ali was tipped for a recall but he and Essex seamer Jamie Porter will miss out against the world number one ranked side, with Surrey left-armer Sam Curran retained for England’s 1,000th Test.

England captain Joe Root, who confirmed Jos Buttler would be his deputy for the five-match series, said: “Looking at the surface, we’ve decided we only want to go with one spinner, and that’s going to be Adil.

“With the amount of right-handers in what we think is going to be India’s team, he gives us a very attacking option.

“I’m very excited about that. I think he’s obviously bowling with a huge amount of confidence.”

Rashid averages 42.78 after 10 Tests and earned his last cap in December 2016, but he has been given an opportunity to resurrect his red-ball career after several encouraging displays in the limited-overs series against Australia and India this summer.

Another player who has forced his way into the Test arena after a starring role in the shorter formats is Buttler, who has been named as vice-captain to Root despite only returning to the side earlier this year.

The unorthodox batsman, number two to Eoin Morgan in the limited-overs set-up, has been hailed as a future Test skipper by Root.

“For this series, Jos is going to be vice-captain,” Root added.

Jos Buttler, left, will be Joe Root's deputy for the series against India (Mike Egerton/PA)
Jos Buttler, left, will be Joe Root’s deputy for the series against India (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Looking at very long term, five to 10 years, I see him as someone who can really drive this team forward – and I think it’s a great opportunity for him to start doing that now.”

James Anderson had assisted Root since the start of the last Ashes series after Ben Stokes was stood down from the role following an alleged late-night incident outside a Bristol nightclub last September.

Stokes’ trial for alleged affray begins on Monday and the all-rounder will miss the second Test at Lord’s, which gets under way on August 9.

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