England head coach Chris Silverwood and Managing director of England men’s cricket Ashley Giles understand the lengthy and crucial cricketing season that awaits them as they hope to get back on track after losing all the formats in India. A handful of England players have returned from India recently after the BCCI suspended IPL 2021 indefinitely due to a handful of COVID-19 positive cases emerging within the bio-bubble. Hence, Giles confirmed they would not rush the all-format players into Test cricket.
The English team has indeed a packed schedule ahead of them as they start their home season with a two-Test series against New Zealand, followed by three ODIs and as many T20Is against Sri Lanka. India and England have five Tests scheduled, with the latter set to take part in the T20 World Cup, most likely in the sub-continent and an away Ashes series, starting November.
As a result, England are likely to blood some fresh faces against New Zealand in June. Ashley Giles understands that all the players have spent an extended time and different spells in the bio-bubbles. Thus, the former England off-spinner believes they must look after the players, given the amount of cricket coming their way. Giles highlighted that they only have seven Tests to prepare for the Ashes; however, there are spots up for grabs.
“We’re going to treat it on a case by case basis. All these guys are currently in quarantine and have had a number of spells in quarantine and bubbles in this last period. Some of it’s their choice, I get that. We need to look after them, with the amount of cricket they’ve got coming up, we’re not going to rush or force them back into cricket. We have got an awful lot of cricket coming up. We only have seven Tests between now and the Ashes, but that’s a lot more than our competition at the moment,” Ashley Giles said as quoted by Mirror.co.uk.
Ashley Giles admits they will need a bigger group of players, given the COVID-19 situation:
Ashley Giles also understands that given the amount of cricket and the weightage of every series in the current environment, they will need a bigger group of players. Thus, the 48-year old hinted at introducing some new faces against the Kiwis.
“What we do know and what’s not going to change is that given the weight of cricket, given the Ashes series, and with regard to a Covid environment, we are going to need a bigger group of players still. We may also choose against New Zealand to look at some new faces,” the Surrey-born added further.
The likes of Adam Lyth, James Bracey, and Haseeb Hameed are in the reckoning for the batting slots as they have impressed in the County championship. On the other hand, Craig Overton, who is the leading wicket-taker in the season thus far could get a recall, while Ollie Robinson might earn a maiden call-up.