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Adil Rashid was unlucky not to get wickets - Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes celebrates after dismissing Mohammad Hafeez on day one of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
Ben Stokes celebrates after dismissing Mohammad Hafeez on day one of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

England all-rounder Ben Stokes felt that his teammate Adil Rashid was unlucky not to have wickets to show for his hard work in the first innings of the first Test match against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Making his debut, Rashid conceded 163 runs in 34 overs and failed to pick up a single wicket, making it the second most expensive debut for England in Tests.

Stokes opined that bowling in these conditions and withstanding the heat while the opposition piled on the runs was very hard.

“Bowling in itself out in these conditions is hard," Stokes said.

“Standing in the field, watching the overs tick by and watching the runs pass by is very hard in the heat.

“As a bowling unit we are very proud of what we have done.”

When asked if he has seen a flatter pitch in his career, Stokes said: “The only pitch I can compare that to, was in Trent Bridge when we played against India (in 2014).

“But nothing quite similar that I have bowled on.”

For England their biggest disappointment was the performance of their spinners, Moeen Ali and Rashid, who failed to pick up a single wicket from the 64 overs they bowled combined.

Backing the spinners in his team to come back strongly, Stokes is confident that they will play a big role in the rest of the series.

“We know that subcontinent players are very, very good at playing against spin.

“And I think that Adil Rashid especially was quite unlucky not to get a wicket, they (Pakistan) looked to target him.

“On another day he could have got three or four (wickets).

“It is good time spent in the middle and good (number of) overs under their belt.

“I am sure that they (the spinners) will have a bigger part to play throughout this whole series, wickets will come.”

The 25-year-old is hoping that Rashid can turn up with a game-changing spell the next time he comes out to bowl.

“Dilly (Rashid) is quite a laid back character.

“I’m sure he’ll be hurting inside to not get a wicket but he bowled absolutely brilliantly in the two weeks of preparation we had here.

“I’m hoping that when he gets to bowl next time he can produce a spell that can change the match.”

With a deficit of 467 runs staring at them, England have a monumental task ahead with the bat on Thursday.

Urging the batsmen to adopt the strategy of playing each ball on its merit, Stokes expects their preparation against spin in the nets to come handy in their innings.

“They (Pakistan) have obviously shown their intent.

“They brought the spin on quite early.

“We have had two weeks preparation.

“We had lot of spin bowlers in the nets.

“It is just about ‘play the good balls and hit the bad balls’.

“I don’t think it should change from where you are but obviously spin is going to be the big challenge out here.”

After Pakistan declared on 523 for eight, the England openers Alastair Cook and Ali took England to 56 for naught at the end of the second day’s play.

© Cricket World 2015