Gough cited Rashid’s recent success in the five-match one-day international series against West Indies that England drew 2-2. Rashid was the joint-highest wicket-taker from either side, alongside Windies’ Oshane Thomas, with nine scalps at 20.77.
In a power-packed England line-up, bristling with big-hitters and all-rounders, Gough said that England’s success would directly depend on Rashid’s. “For me, with the World Cup on the horizon this year, it is a big bonus that Adil Rashid has had a great one-day series for England in the West Indies,” Gough told the Yorkshire Post.
“He is such a big weapon. If England are going to do well in the World Cup, he must have a good tournament. He was disappointing in the Tests, but has been excellent in the one-dayers. He is such a dangerous player and match-winner for England in the white-ball format.”
Gough’s assessment is in line with the larger perception of wristspinners and the value they bring to sides in the modern-day game. India have reaped the benefits of investing in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, winning 41 of the 56 matches that have involved either player.
If England are going to do well in the World Cup, Rashid must have a good tournament.
Australia are now seeing it with Adam Zampa, who has been handy in their ongoing series against India, where he has dismissed Virat Kohli thrice in five internationals. Gough pointed out to the mystery factor and cited the variations that Rashid brings to the table as the reason behind his assessment.
“He bowls a lot of googlies, and his mystery wins games. He has been super in one-day cricket over the last two years,” he said. “He is being used as a strike bowler in one-dayers, whereas in Tests he bowls to defensive fields. But in the one-dayers, he can have the fielders out and they are attacking ones.”