Originally Posted by sanskritsimon
Judging from recent discussions on the "spin conundrum" thread, this question should be split into two questions. Firstly, why was Rashid not picked? Answer, because the selectors think he's not good enough. Secondly, why was Dawson picked? Well, you saw the pitch. The seamers were largely ineffective, especially in the second innings, so a second spinner was a no-brainer, and bearing in mind the answer to question one, it obviously had to be Dawson, who didn't do badly in the previous test.
Dawson seems to have become the bete noir of cricket purists who believe a spinner should only be able to bat at 11 and be broadly comical when fielding. Not too sure how well studied he has been by some of his critics, I've seen him bowl one in County Cricket so really have no real opinion. When he Captained the U19s it was as a specialist spinner and he did return the best ever U19 bowling figures. When he got in to The Hampshire team his batting improved and at times he was behind others as a spin bowler. I do believe he actually has the best test average of all English spinners currently playing professional cricket, so I'd say he had a reasonable start to his career. I'll keep an open mind until he's played a couple more tests, but he in the final India test he looked good and after a nervous first spell bowled quite well for an English spinner at Lords. He managed to get some reasonable turn in both innings which surprised me a little.