Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Anderson won’t be the last
The England selectors sprung a huge surprise in not naming James Anderson in their squad for the third and final test against the West Indies this week but it seems that Anderson is not the only high profile player who may be in line for a rest.
Coach Andy Flower, it seems, is a fan of the squad rotation system and will continue to rest his prized assets; "I think the days of playing our players constantly in every form of the game until they either wear down or snap physically or mentally are over," he said.
The news may be a disappointment for fans watching at the ground, on TV or tuning in to live cricket online, but the crowded nature of the modern-day international calendar means there is little choice but to rotate the squad.
Following on from this week’s test England face the Windies in a one-day series and twenty20 match and Australia in a one day series ahead of meeting South Africa in a three test series, four one day internationals and three twenty20 matches. All of this comes before a gruelling winter tour to India...maybe the selectors have a point.
Ahead of confirmation of his omission, Anderson said "It would be extremely disappointing for me to miss out. It would be different if I felt fatigued or was struggling with an injury. But I believe I am fit to play - and while I am fit to play I want to play in every England game I can.”
Flower has since confirmed that other players are in line to be brought in over the summer; "It is not only going to be Anderson, [Stuart] Broad and [Tim] Bresnan used, it'd be naive and crazy to think so" he said.
Only time will tell whether or not the squad rotation policy will prove to be beneficial for England. Maybe times have changed but the old adage certainly used to be ‘you don’t change a winning team’. However, the cricket bets placed in their favour suggests punters expect to complete a series whitewash.
The West Indies will hope to benefit from Anderson’s absence in the short term and the Australians and South Africans will certainly be hoping that this disrupts Flower’s team sufficiently to increase their chances in the coming months. Flower and the selectors will be praying that they are proved right.