Originally Posted by JRC67
Rashid needs to answer the 2 big questions over his bowling. As a spinner you need a certain level of consistency, which he's yet to show. As a test spinner you need to be able to bowl well at top batsmen and Rashid has a big difference in his record against top and lower order batsmen.
Rashid vs Ali isn't really a debate unless Ali fails at 5 against South Africa. My guess would be Broad and Woakes will be 2 of 4 bowlers. Ball or Wood will play. Rashid will probably play in the first test unless his confidence is shot in which case they may give Dawson a go.
I'm not sure I entirely agree with this selection postulation. If Stokes and Woakes are fit both play, as obviously would Broad and Anderson. If Anderson (or Broad) inured then agree we'd presumably play Wood or Ball. We're playing Ali anyway. Are you really then going to pick Rashid over a specialist batsman? Sure, an extra batsman does mean a lot of batting resource jammed down the order with Ali perhaps at 8 again and Woakes at 9. Still, even if you have Rashid as a much better bowler than Ali, which is a questionable proposition to me (I do think Rashid is marginally better), how much bowling do you expect from him? I could see six bowlers in India but not at home.