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Joe Root looks to Adil Rashid to spin India into trouble

The Yorkshire player will be England’s sole frontline spinner in their 1,000th Test.

Joe Root is ready to unleash the real Adil Rashid against India in England’s 1,000th Test.

Root confirmed on the eve of the landmark occasion that his fellow Yorkshireman, subject of an open-season reaction since his controversial selection in a 13-man squad last week, will be the hosts’ sole spinner at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

The England captain spelled out too that, contrary to some rumblings, he needed no persuading about Rashid’s recall – at a time when the leg-spinner has no first-class contract with Yorkshire or any apparently imminent plans to return to county championship action this summer.

He senses Rashid’s significant white-ball improvement for club and country indicates that at the age of 30 he has matured to the point that he should be ready to do himself and England full justice at Test level.

England will certainly need him to be more of a threat than his career figures to date suggest – after 38 wickets at an average of 42.78 from 10 overseas caps, including most recently five in India up to December 2016.

Root has known Rashid throughout his own professional career, having followed him up through the ranks at Yorkshire, and said: “He’s very talented – he always has been.

“I think over the last couple of years … he has grown as a player massively.

“He’s got high skill levels, which I think are very transferable into Test cricket.

“I’ve known Adil for a long time, seen his success over the last year in white-ball cricket and feel I have an opportunity to get the best out of him in this format now.”

Rashid’s chance comes at the expense of fellow spinner Moeen Ali, who alongside uncapped seamer Jamie Porter has not graduated from squad to team.

Root added: “(Adil) is bowling with a huge amount of confidence at the minute … (and) has matured a hell of a lot since he last played Test cricket.

“Obviously I was in favour of the selection, and I think it gives us a really great attacking spinning option.”

He believes the furore in some quarters over Rashid’s selection – despite his current white-ball only status, and including in part from Yorkshire – has been misplaced.

“In terms of the criticism, people are entitled to their opinions and can voice what they want.

“I probably think it’s slightly unfair – but (that’s) my opinion.”

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