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England name XI, Rashid in, Moeen out 

Birmingham, July 31

Adil Rashid was named as the sole specialist spinner in the England playing XI for the series opener against India, creating more pressure on the leg-spinner after his controversial recall to the Test side. Rashid, who last played a Test in December 2016, has been preferred over all-rounder Moeen Ali in the XI.The 30-year-old has been recalled at the back of his impressive performances in the shorter formats of the game. He picked up six wickets in the preceding ODI series against India, including the prized scalp of Virat Kohli, whom he bowled with a beauty. Also finding a place in the XI is Sam Curran, who will form the pace attack alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes. Captain Joe Root said, “We feel we have some strong plans in place for Virat Kohli but ultimately when you play against the world’s best players they generally have answers.”

Rashid a spoilt brat

Pressure mounted on Adil Rashid as former England captain Geoffrey Boycott hit out at his selection in the England squad, calling the spinner a “spoilt brat”. “In two years England have gone around in a circle. By picking Adil Rashid, they are selecting the unselectable: a player who will not play four-day cricket for Yorkshire because his heart isn’t in it but he will play for England in Test matches. Absurd? Yes,” Boycott wrote in a newspaper. Yorkshire have reacted angrily to England’s decision to select a player who has made himself unavailable to them for red-ball cricket this summer. “How could he expect Yorkshire to welcome that news? He should reverse the roles and put himself in their position instead of thinking about himself. It makes him look like a spoilt brat,” Boycott, a former opener, said.

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