England fast bowler Sajid Mahmood believes Adil Rashid is central to England’s hopes at the CWC 2019. Those who don’t want to miss the entertainment have already bought their Cricket World Cup Final Tickets.
Leg-spinner Rashid, a peripheral figure in England’s Test team, has taken 125 ODI wickets since the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand – the most of any bowler in the world.
This massive number of scalps, along with a remarkable ability to take wickets at key times in the middle overs, has helped drive England to an unbeaten run of ten consecutive bilateral ODI series without defeat.
Mahmood, who was speaking at the first Super Saturday of the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, in Manchester, believes the Yorkshire man holds the key to home hopes.
“I think the crucial man who, if he does well we’ve got a good chance, is going to be Adil Rashid,” said Mahmood, who was on hand to welcome fans as the trophy took center stage in Manchester’s Exchange Square.
“He’s a massive wicket-taker who breaks up good partnerships but, saying that you’ve also got Liam Plunkett who does a similar sort of thing, taking wickets in the middle period and then you’ve got Mark Wood and Chris Woakes who take wickets up front.”
There has been a flow in praise for Rashid from all corners in recent times including England captain Eoin Morgan, along with a host of former players, but Mahmood was also adamant the team has an attack suited to all conditions and with all bases covered.
“I think English team has got a strong all-round team,” he added.
“The batting expresses for itself, it has done for the past two to three years but bowling-wise, they’ve had a couple of injuries with Woakes being injured a few times but Adil and Mo Moeen Ali have been pretty consistent the last two or three years.
“There’s a lot of talk about Jofra Archer coming in, but I’m not sure he’ll play much seeing as he’s not had much experience and it’s such a big tournament.
“England has got people like Plunkett to still come in and Mark Wood did well away in the winter.
“They’ve got pace, they’ve got people who can hit a decent area and move the ball a bit and they’ve got a good spin attack so I definitely think they’ve got a well-rounded bowling attack.”
Mahmood took part in the 2007 World Cup where England failed to progress from the Super 8s through to the semi-finals, but the former Lancashire man thinks Morgan’s bowling attack, along with home advantage, will ensure a better result in 2019.
“I definitely think England have enough to bowl teams out,” said Mahmood.
“I think they’ve shown that over the last few years and the biggest thing is they’ve got home fans and home advantage so they should know how the pitches are going to play and use that to their advantage.
“There’s going to be a lot of countries coming in who are not going to have as much experience with the pitches as our players have.”
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