Strauss singles out Rashid
Andrew Strauss singled out Adil Rashid for special praise after England's first ODI against Australia.
Last Updated: 05/09/09 12:54pm
Andrew Strauss singled out young Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid for special praise after England's first One-Day International (ODI) against Australia.
The hosts might have got off to a disappointing start in the series, losing by four runs, but the very fact they got so close was largely due to Rashid's input with both bat and ball.
The 21-year-old's leg-spin first helped England limit Australia to 260 for five - a score the Australian captain Michael Clarke felt was about 20 runs below par.
And Rashid then launched a late onslaught with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 31 from 23 balls, to revive England's hopes of victory after a middle order collapse.
His efforts proved in vain in the end, but did not go unnoticed by his captain.
"I thought Adil Rashid was excellent, the way he bowled and the way he batted at the end," Strauss said.
"We have always known Adil is a very talented individual both with the ball and the bat.
"Just recently for Yorkshire he has been putting in more consistent performances and he is starting to realise that talent.
"Today in a big game for him, I thought he was exceptional the way he bowled. Someone like Michael Clarke, who is a very good player of spin, struggled against him for a while.
"He has the capabilities to be a genuine all-rounder which is exciting. This is the start of his career. Luke Wright has just got back in the side. I like the talent on offer."
Clarke was equally impressed with Rashid and admitted to being slightly surprised not to have faced him during the Ashes after his performance against Australia for the England Lions.
"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."
Despite the defeat, Rashid's performance has at least given England some heart heading into the second ODI of the series at Lord's on Sunday.