Adil Rashid is England’s best player and don’t let anyone or anything tell you otherwise. (Definitely don’t let anything tell you otherwise. Don’t start listening to the toaster on this one. What the hell does it know?)
Rashid’s job is to create chaos when the opposition batsmen get used to pace bowling and start accumulating runs effortlessly and without risk. He spins the ball both ways, he pretty much always takes wickets and if he also concedes a few runs – well, don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that’s kind of how one-day cricket works these days.
Loads of batsmen score quickly. Scoring quickly is normal. What is no longer normal is a bowler who routinely dismisses batsmen when they’ve got their eye in and every other ball seems to be going to the boundary. This is what Adil Rashid does. The fact that this is inexplicably undervalued by pretty much everyone commenting on one-day cricket is either monumentally annoying or half the joy. We can’t decide which.
Rashid is also the finest timer of a cricket ball in the entire England batting line-up; a quality that he almost wholly negates by only ever attempting to play the most ludicrously low percentage shots.