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Saqlain Mushtaq set to rejoin England as Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid's mentor says reports

Debdoot Das
723   //    05 Sep 2016, 10:30 IST
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq in conversation with Adil Rashid 

Pakistan off spinning legend Saqlain Mushtaq is set to rejoin England as bowling mentor to Moeen Ali and leggie Adil Rashid for tours in Bangladesh and India.Saqlain’s job will be to prepare the two tweakers before the first Test of each series so that they can be ready to take on the challenges in the sub-continent, reports the Telegraph.

The pair struggled last year when they faced Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates but they are set to play together again with Liam Dawson looking likely to fill in the void for the third spinner.Saqlain had the chance of working with Rashid and Moeen during the Old Trafford Test against Pakistan last month where he built a healthy relationship with the duo.

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 “He didn’t say a lot technically, although there have been one or two tips I have worked on since. It was more about the mindset of bowling spin,” Moeen said. “He described it as a long journey on a boat and sometimes there will be stormy water – the equivalent of batsmen coming after you – but as soon as the storm is over, you need to refocus.”

Moeen has not been in the best of form with the ball this year. He is currently averaging 66 and has been throwing full tosses frequently. One of such deliveries was so high that the wicket-keeper failed to gather it at Headingley in an One-Day International last week.

Rashid has also had his problems. In the UAE he bowled to many half-trackers and full tosses against Pakistan and captain Alastair Cook had no choice but to overbowl his pacers to keep the Pakistan willowers quite. Both Bangladesh and Indian batsmen will have a go at them on the tours and Saqlain will have a tough job at hand where he will also need to constantly have their confidence up.  

Dawson, who might be roped in as the third spinner in the side has only grabbed 12 championship wickets this season for Hampshire with an average of 47 runs but his last eight have come in the last two games. Reportedly he has been able to impress the England management with his attitude and might just get the nod ahead of the Surrey pair of Gareth Batty and Zafr Ansari.

Dawson was however, left out from England’s Twenty20 squad for the last international match of the summer against Pakistan which has now given him an opportunity to play in a championship game and push his Test claims further before the selection next week.