England captain Joe Root was fully in support of the controversial decision to recall Adil Rashid for next week’s first Test against India, according to national selector Ed Smith.

Leg-spinner Rashid was included in a 13-man squad announced on Thursday even though he has opted out of playing first-class County Championship cricket for Yorkshire this season.

Furious backlash

For all his recent excellent one-day international form, Rashid’s recall after more than 18 months out of the Test side provoked a furious backlash, with former England captain Michael Vaughan labelling the decision as “ridiculous”.

But Smith was adamant both his panel and Root, who will have to decide when Rashid bowls if his Yorkshire team-mate is included in England’s final XI at Edgbaston, were comfortable with a “one-off” move.

“We are fully aware of the summer we are having and the likelihood that the pitches are going to turn,” Smith told reporters at The Oval after a squad announcement that also saw a recall for off-spinner Moeen Ali.

‘Form of his life’

“In the event of needing two spinners how would we get people into the side who turn the ball in different directions?

“In that context is obviously Adil’s form in white-ball cricket, his confidence, his touch, the fact that he has evolved so much as a bowler and is in the form of his life.

“The decision was a unanimous one, the decision-makers being myself, James Taylor and coach Trevor Bayliss, and also round that table was Joe Root.”

Smith added: “I would never want to say to a captain ‘have him’.

“The number one question was ‘Joe what do you need’. Then we discuss it, argue about it and make the decision together.”AFP

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