Udal backs Rashid
Shaun Udal thinks that Adil Rashid has the ability to overcome recent criticism and go on to become an "outstanding" player.
Last Updated: 10/12/09 9:15am
Shaun Udal thinks that Adil Rashid has the ability to overcome recent criticism and go on to become an "outstanding" player in the Test arena.
Despite his relative inexperience, the 21-year-old leg-spinner has been included in England's Test and ODI squads on their current tour of South Africa.
However, the Yorkshireman has struggled in his two appearances so far - Rashid failing to take a wicket on both occasions and being hit for 25 from his only over during the second Twenty20 international.
He then went for nine an over in the second ODI match and he is currently with the Performance Programme in Pretoria, rather than preparing for the first Test which starts in six days' time.
Udal, who played nine ODIs for England, believes talk of the spinner's decline is premature and says Rashid will need time to flourish.
"I think everyone has gone over the top by talking about Adil Rashid's demise," he said. "He's only 21 years of age. You have to stick with him.
"It's not right that people are already writing him off. He's not played any Test cricket yet.
"He's young and fantastically young for a cricketer so we should look after him and nurture him rather than knocking him. There's no doubt that he has the potential to become an outstanding Test match cricketer."
Udal also warned Graeme Swann that he may find it difficult to continue his recent strong form in South Africa.
Swann has been England's number one spinner in all formats of the game since Andrew Strauss' side reclaimed the Ashes and took two key four-wicket hauls during that series.
But Udal thinks he will have to be more patient on this tour, as South Africa is not a country renowned for helping slow bowlers.
"Paul Harris' role for South Africa is to contain the batsmen and let the quicks rip at the top order and I think Strauss may have the same idea in mind for Swann," the Middlesex captain added.
"He loves to take wickets but he may just have to rein in his attacking tendencies to do a job for the side."