Adil Rashid has ruled out representing England on their upcoming Test tour of Sri Lanka, suggesting it would be unfair for him to earn selection given his lack of county cricket action.
Rashid took 12 wickets as England claimed a 3-0 Test series win on their last visit to Sri Lanka in 2018.
However, after enjoying a successful return to the ODI fold on Sunday, claiming 3-51 as England beat South Africa in Johannesburg to rescue a 1-1 series draw, the leg-spinner said he did not feel comfortable about taking a Test place at someone else’s expense.
Rashid, whose most recent first-class appearance came more than a year ago, was previously brought back to England’s Test team despite a lack of red-ball action but appears unwilling to benefit from a similar call again.
“That’s something that I personally feel I’ve got to earn again,” he said in a news conference.
“I’ve got to go back into maybe county cricket, get the performances under my belt and then get selected on merit. I think if the selectors do come up and ask, ‘Are you available, can you play’, for me that would be a straight no, I can’t, because I feel as if I’ve got to deserve my place back in the team.”
In an interview with Sky Sports, Rashid added: “I think it’s a bit unfair for me to just say ‘Yeah, I’m available’. At this moment in time, I’m really concentrating on white-ball cricket. Maybe in the future [I will return to Test cricket].”
England will play two Tests in Sri Lanka next month, but Rashid’s focus is on the Twenty20 series that rounds off the tour of South Africa.
His man-of-the-match display in Johannesburg, in his 100th ODI, was hugely encouraging given he has been hampered by a long-standing shoulder problem.
Man of the match in his th ODI!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 9, 2020
“It’s probably been a year now, my shoulder has not been quite right,” Rashid told Sky Sports. “I took some time off after [the tour of] New Zealand, had a couple of months where I really did some hard rehab, got a lot better, and slowly, gradually, it’s building on that.
“I’m still going to carry on doing the shoulder work and hopefully I can get that even stronger and better.
“Once you have that shoulder injury, that niggle, then you feel it, especially as a leg-spinner – you might struggle to get that extra zip, extra pace.
“I had a few injections during the World Cup, prior to the World Cup as well, and got through it somehow, but now it’s that time where there’s not much cricket being played, I can really nail down the gym [work] and really get it strong.”