Adil Rashid will walk out at Lord's this afternoon with praise from both the England and Australia captain ringing still ringing in his ears. The leg-spinner and lower-order batsman showcased his talent at the Oval in the first one-day international on Friday night, bowling with control and then slamming 31 runs off just 23 balls as England lost by four runs.
"We have always known Adil is a very talented individual both with the ball and the bat," said the England captain Andrew Strauss. "Just recently for Yorkshire he has been putting in more consistent performances and he is starting to realise that talent. He has the capabilities to be a genuine all-rounder which is exciting." The Australia one-day captain, Michael Clarke, a fine player of spin, experienced problems against Rashid and provided a ringing endorsement of the 21-year-old's qualities.
"He bowled really well. I thought he might have played a part in the Test series," said Clarke. "He is a wonderful player with plenty of talent and he has got a bright future. I couldn't seem to hit him for any runs." Rashid, in concert with Luke Wright, who blasted a quickfire 38, brought England back into the game after they looked to be struggling at 178 for five chasing 261 for victory, but Australia held on to draw first blood in the series.
"When you are chasing 260 you need one of your batters to go on and make a big score. None of our batters were able to do that," said Strauss. "There were plenty of contributions but no-one made a sizeable enough one to tilt the game in our favour. "If you want to win consistently one of your top four or five need to get hundreds more often than not. That is an area we are looking to address. We weren't able to do it. Hopefully we will be able to put that right on Sunday."
England's batsmen will again have to contend with Brett Lee who bowled with hostility on Friday night, particularly at Matt Prior. "He's as good as I've seen him," said Clarke. "He's training as hard as I have seen him train and he certainly has the hunger so I'm certain he will have a really good one-day series." * With agencies England v Australia, 1.15pm start, Showsports 3