Rashid the key man as England go on the attack

Published by on December 8, 2016

England largely have Keaton Jennings to thank for a successful first day of the fourth Test in India.

The debutant hit 112 with a strike rate of 51.14 to put the visitors in control, before the hosts hit back with some quick wickets.

England are now at 11/8 to win the game, which has improved from the first ball.

Moeen Ali also did his bit before being punished for a reckless shot on exactly 50.

Once India are in, it could therefore fall to Adil Rashid to make the difference. Alastair Cook has tried to balance his bowling line-up as much as possible with James Anderson coming back, but it’s Rashid’s spin that should pose the biggest threat to India.

Rashid is at 5/2 to take the most wickets in the first innings, and he’s the only bowler who isn’t at decent odds to take a fifer.

Anderson, Jake Ball, Chris Woakes, and Ben Stokes are all at 9/1, but it’s hard to see any of them actually managing it on this surface.

It’s easy to see why Trevor Bayliss’ men are so reliant on Rashid then, given his performances in the first few Tests.

They have had so few proper leg-spinners down the years that it’s almost as if they’ve forgotten how to use them, but he’s taken 18 wickets so far in the series – if that isn’t something for India to worry about, then they should bat as well as England.