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T20 World Cup: Adil Rashid’s great variations, control is as good as I have seen it, says Hussain

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Bridgetown, June 24 (IANS) Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes leg-spinner Adil Rashid is currently at the top of his game in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, citing the great variations and control being as good as he’s ever seen.

Rashid was Player of the Match in England sealing its semi-final spot with a ten-wicket thrashing of the USA at Barbados through his miserly spell of 2/13 in four overs. Rashid has also become the joint-highest wicket-taker for England in Men’s T20 World Cups alongside Stuart Broad.

“Others might have stolen the headlines with bursts of wickets and sixes, but the most eye-catching England performance for me on Sunday was that of Adil Rashid - someone at the peak of his powers.”

“As a team, the USA obviously hadn't played against him before and few had come up against him as individuals, either, and it was obvious they weren't picking him during his return of two for 13.”

“They're not alone on that front, though, and players of the ilk of Pakistan’s Babar Azam have struggled against him because he possesses such great variations and his control is as good as I've seen it,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail.

Citing how Rashid castled USA captain Aaron Jones in Sunday’s game, Hussain explained what makes the veteran leg-spinner a dangerous bowler to face. “Looking at a pitch map of Rashid's wickets, however, the line remains similar, so there are few clues as to which way he's spinning it. That is what makes him a really dangerous proposition.”

“Some will say it's only America, and they've not seen him before, but he's been operating at a very high level for a very long time now and although it goes under the radar, he is ranked the world’s number one Twenty20 bowler for a reason.”

“He is able to drift the ball on the breeze here, and is one of the few modern wrist spinners - rivals Rashid Khan and Adam Zampa like to bowl into the pitch - who will toss the ball up, even on these smaller grounds.”

“The dismissal of US captain Aaron Jones on Sunday was a case in point. As we've seen in the tournament, Jones loves a slog sweep and was hitting with the wind, so it was brave for Rashid to throw up a wrong 'un. He was challenging the batter: firstly, can you pick me? Secondly, if you can, can you hit me over midwicket for six? Jones could do neither.”

Hussain signed off by saying Rashid could feature in England’s set-up for the foreseeable future if he is able to keep his body fit. “On the occasions when Rashid does get belted, he drags his length back perfectly, and he's got that lovely delivery, released out of the front of the hand with a scrambled seam that skids low and finds its way under the bat.”

“From an England perspective, I don't think I've seen him bowl better, and there's no reason at all that he shouldn't be around bowling like this for quite some time yet if he keeps his body fit. First, though, he has the chance of helping England into yet another World Cup final.”

--IANS

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