Root confirmed on the eve of the landmark occasion that his fellow Yorkshireman, subject of an open-season reaction since his controversial selection in a 13-man squad last week, will be the hosts’ sole spinner at Edgbaston on Wednesday (14:00 UAE).
The England captain spelled out too that, contrary to some rumblings, he needed no persuading about Rashid’s recall – at a time when the leg-spinner has no first-class contract with Yorkshire or any apparently imminent plans to return to county championship action this summer.
He senses Rashid’s significant white-ball improvement for club and country indicates that at the age of 30 he has matured to the point that he should be ready to do himself and England full justice at Test level.
England will certainly need him to be more of a threat than his career figures to date suggest – after 38 wickets at an average of 42.78 from 10 overseas caps, including most recently five in India up to December 2016.
Root has known Rashid throughout his own professional career, having followed him up through the ranks at Yorkshire, and said: “He’s very talented – he always has been.
“I think over the last couple of years … he has grown as a player massively.
“He’s got high skill levels, which I think are very transferable into Test cricket.
“I’ve known Adil for a long time, seen his success over the last year in white-ball cricket and feel I have an opportunity to get the best out of him in this format now.”
Rashid’s chance comes at the expense of fellow spinner Moeen Ali, who alongside uncapped seamer Jamie Porter has not graduated from squad to team.
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Root added: “(Adil) is bowling with a huge amount of confidence at the minute … (and) has matured a hell of a lot since he last played Test cricket.
“Obviously I was in favour of the selection, and I think it gives us a really great attacking spinning option.”
He believes the furore in some quarters over Rashid’s selection – despite his current white-ball only status, and including in part from Yorkshire – has been misplaced.
“In terms of the criticism, people are entitled to their opinions and can voice what they want.
“I probably think it’s slightly unfair – but (that’s) my opinion.”
The tourists have a dismal record at the venue having lost five of their six games against England with their first defeat going way back to 1967.
Here, we look at all the six games as India look to register their first win in the Midlands.
JULY 1967 – LOST BY 132 RUNS
You have to go back to the days when Geoffrey Boycott was playing for India’s first defeat at this venue. England made 298 in the first innings after half-centuries by John Murray (77) and Ken Barrington (75) before India were shot out for 92. England added 203 in the second innings to set India a mammoth 410 to win. Ajit Wadekar top-scored with 70 but the tourists were all out for 277.
JULY 1974 – LOST BY AN INNINGS AND 78 RUNS
If India’s last visit was dismal then 1974 was even worse. Sunil Gavaskar was out for a duck as India were all out for 165 with Farouk Engineer top-scoring with an unbeaten 64. England declared on 459-2 with David Lloyd smashing 214 while Mike Denness scored a century.
England did more damage with the ball with Mike Hendrick and Chris Old taking three wickets each as India were dismissed for 216.
JULY 1979 – LOST BY AN INNINGS AND 83 RUNS
England made the perfect start by declaring on a mammoth total of 633-5 thanks to a 200 from David Gower and a ton from Boycott. Bob Willis was among the bowlers to impress with three wickets with Ian Botham also taking two scalps as India registered 297 on their first attempt.
Gavaskar was one of three players to reach half-centuries but Botham’s five-wicket haul was too much for India as they crashed to 253 all out.
JULY 1986 – DRAW
The only time that India have travelled to Edgbaston and come away undefeated. Unlike their previous visits, India managed to cross the 300-run mark when they hit 390 in a solid team effort that featured no centuries. Mohinder Amarnath top-scored with 79 to match England’s first innings and after the hosts were all out for 235, the Indians fell short of their 236-run target when they ended on 174-5.
JUNE 1996 – LOST BY EIGHT WICKETS
India had a young Sachin Tendulkar in the team but even his century in the second innings could not stop his side falling to another defeat. India were already up against it when they started their second innings after England took a 99-run first innings lead and while Tendulkar’s 122 saw India reach 219, Mike Atherton’s unbeaten half-century saw them reach the 121-run target with ease.
AUGUST 2011 – LOST BY AN INNINGS AND 242 RUNS
Even with a squad boasting the likes of Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni and VVS Laxman could avoid an embarrassing defeat. After India were all out for 224 in their first innings, England piled on the pressure as Alastair Cook hit 294 while Eoin Morgan scored a century to help the hosts to 710-7. Jimmy Anderson showed why he is one of the best pacers around with four wickets as India came nowhere near.
England take on India in the first of five Tests which begins in Birmingham on Monday. Top-ranked India are without their premier fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah while England have won just two out of their last 10 Tests.
Stakes will be high as India try to prove they truly deserve the No1 status while England look to put the impetus back into their red-ball cricket after prioritising limited over cricket for a few years.
Here, Sport360‘s cricket writers make their predictions about the Pataudi Trophy 2018.
A lot of it depends on the weather. If it stays dry and hot then the games may descend into slow scoring draws while if the rains start to come the wickets will tumble. Either way the hosts to win.
Best performer: Alastair Cook
With not that many home series to play the former captain will want to make this summer a big one. With the wickets unlikely to give the bowlers much, expect Cook to dig in and stay there.
Disappointment: Ravichandran Ashwin
Ashwin has been magnificent through his career but I think he will struggle here. England won’t have a lot of trouble picking his regulation off spin and expect the middle order to score heavily against him.
Scoreline: 3-1 to England
The hosts won in 2011 and 2014 against India and expect that record to be continued. Their batting is capable of doing serious damage to an under strength Indian bowling unit while the tourists’ batsmen are still finding their feet on English soil.
Best performer: Joe Root
All eyes will be on how Virat Kohli fares following his disappointing 2014 tour but the England captain should steal the spotlight, just how he did when he finished highest scorer four years ago.
Disappointment: Cheteshwar Pujara
Despite playing county cricket this summer, the 30-year-old isn’t in the best of form after averaging 14.33 from 12 innings for Yorkshire. It won’t come any easier against the likes of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Scoreline: 3-1 to England
Winners: Neither side. India will take time to warm up in England – so may Virat Kohli – but Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will come back in time to trouble the hosts and help level the series.
Best performer: Jos Buttler. It’s difficult to imagine England’s top-order woes will be miraculously cured – their middle-order isn’t shabby though. Buttler, the new Test vice-captain, is box office and now with added substance.
Disappointment: Kuldeep Yadav if and when he starts. England’s limited-overs team will be full of tips for openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings on how best to play a spinner who they eventually got to grips with last month.
The injuries in India’s pace department cannot be understated neither can the wealth of experience in their English counterparts be overstated. Expect the hosts to start strongly while India take their time to get going.
Best performer: Jonny Bairstow
One of the few respectable performers for England when they toured India in 2016-17, Jonny Bairstow is primed to have a big series with the bat following his excellent form in limited-overs cricket.
Disappointment: Adil Rashid
England have set themselves up for a big fall by giving leg-spinner Rashid a Test recall based solely on the fact that he dismissed Virat Kohli twice in the ODI series.
Scoreline: 3-1 to England.
If India had a fully-fit side, I would have backed them to win against an English team that has fallen dramatically behind in red-ball cricket. But in a five-Test series, you need your best wicket-taking bowlers and India don’t have that at the moment.
Best performer: Virat Kohli
Kohli is too good a player to keep failing. Expect him to double down to ensure he comes up with the runs. This time it’s personal and Kohli will leave no stone unturned.
Disappointment: Cheteshwar Pujara
The wheels are beginning to come off Pujara’s batting. There is hardly any fluency in his scoring and his game has come to a standstill when it should have progressed to the next level.
Scoreline: England 3-2 (weather permitting)