Young Yorkshire and England leg-spinner Adil Rashid believes he is mentally ready for the fast-approaching Ashes series in Australia.
After Yorkshire sealed a victory over Northamptonshire and a home semi final in the CB40 competition, Rashid said: “Yes, if the selectors call tomorrow I am ready. At the moment I feel quite good, it is coming out nicely and I feel quite strong. Mentally this is the best I have felt so far throughout my career so hopefully if I can keep going, keep confident and keep taking wickets and getting runs then if that time comes I’ll be ready.”
Rashid is in an arguably enviable position, compared with the likes of Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen, who have only played a handful of games and are short of match practice as they have been only able to play international cricket this summer.
Rashid said: “It is coming out nicely, the more I play the better I feel and the more confidence I get and so far that’s whats happened in the season. I keep playing day in and day out and it is good so far.”
However, as Yorkshire are still in contention for the County Championship and CB40 competitions, Rashid is looking for county success first and hopes this will stand him in good stead with the England selectors.
“We have still got two weeks of the season left and it is an important season for me and an important season for Yorkshire as well, with the County Championship and Pro40, so hopefully if that goes well we will see what happens in the winter. If I am part of the Ashes that would be good, if not England Lions is there as well so if I am part of any England setup I will be happy.”
The 22-year-old believes that the win over the Steelbacks this week was vital in Yorkshire’s CB40 campaign and could ultimately mean they lift the title this season. He was instrumental in restricting the young Northamptonshire side to a manageable 204 runs as he bowled his allotted eight overs for just 26 runs.
“The home semi-final is very important. We have played well in this competition, we have played 11 games and won 10 now so a home semi final is crucial," he said.
"We are playing at Scarborough where our record is very good so hopefully we can get a good win there then go to Lords for the final.”
Yorkshire team-mate Ajmal Shazad feels that Rashid has a good chance of being on the plane for the ashes as the second spinner behind the ever-impressive Graeme Swann.
“I think the main spinner will be Graeme Swann, who has done superbly well and is one of the best spinners in the world. Adil is definitely in the fold and he just needs to keep doing what he is doing as he has had a magnificent year this year.”
© Cricket World 2010