A draw may seem the most likely outcome but England leg-spinner Adil Rashid did not rule out the possibility of a result in the opening cricket Test against India.
The match meandered towards a draw after a solid century stand by the visiting team’s openers – Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed – in their second innings on the fourth and penultimate day.
“I think all three (victory for either team or draw) are possible. There’s still a lot of cricket to be played tomorrow. First we got to come out, get the runs on the board and see what position we are at lunch time. If we are in a good position we might just give it a bowl and see what happens,” said Rashid who claimed 4 for 114, including the wickets of centurion Murali Vijay and captain Virat Kohli, in India’s first innings.
When Kohli was dismissed hit wicket while pulling Rashid, it was the first instance of an Indian batsman getting out in this fashion in 14 years.
The leggie said it gave him a good feeling to capture the in-form batsman’s wicket.
“Probably when Jonny Bairstow first pointed at the stumps, we all looked at the stumps and Virat was in a bit of shock that he stood his wickets, you know. It’s a good feeling,” said Rashid about the freak dismissal and how the team came to know of it.
Rashid said he had been working with former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq – who is here as England’s bowling consultant – mostly on field placements.
“I’ve been working more on setting fields, what kind of game plans to get batsmen out in these conditions. Obviously the pace is the key, the pace which I’m comfortable at and the pace where I can spin the ball the most is crucial. I am just maintaining that, just believing that and being confident and doing the skills out in the middle.
“Obviously the more you play, the more comfortable you feel, especially here. They make you feel at home, so I felt quite at home.”
Asked about the Indian tail wagging, he said the side knew the home team’s lower order could bat a bit.
From 319 for four, India carried on to make 488 with Ravichandran Ashwin making 70 and shepherding the other batsmen behind him.
“That’s cricket for you. Partnerships lower down the order. Numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9 – they all can bat. We knew that if we didn’t bowl well, they are going to score runs and that’s what happened. We accept whatever the lead is, we’re happy with the lead. Hopefully, we can play well.”
Praising Haseeb Hameed, the debutant opener, Rashid said he was a fine talent.
“He’s been very good. He’s got a head. He’s a very level sort of boy, works hard in the nets and is a great talent. He’s very calm, very organised. He’s a hard-worker as well. He’s got a good sense of humour and he fits very well into the dressing room. Hopefully, he can carry on for many more years to come.”