England head coach Chris Silverwood has defended the controversial ECB policy of resting players and rotating them during the upcoming Ashes 2021 series against Australia down under. His statement came after England’s 3-1 defeat in the Test series against India.
Furthermore, Silverwood said that it is not ruled out key players flying home midway through next winter’s Ashes series in Australia. Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, and Chris Woakes were all rested for at least one match during the 3-1 series defeat by India, with Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer absent for the tour of Sri Lanka in January.
However, all of these players will be available for the upcoming five-match T20I series against India and will be playing in the IPL 2021 apart from Mark Wood. With an eye on the T20 World Cup in the autumn, the ECB has been accused of prioritizing white-ball cricket this year.
“The Rotation System, I’m Happy With That,” Says Chris Silverwood
England coach Chris Silverwood says players could be rested and rotated during next winter’s Ashes series. Despite England’s 3-1 Test series loss to India, which also meant they were eliminated from the race for the finals of the ICC World Test Championship.
“It’s (player rotation policy) certainly something we may have to look at. We talk about working our way towards the Ashes and I want the squad to arrive there fit and in form. We want to make sure everyone arrives at that point in as good a place as possible. We have to look after our players,” said Silverwood.
However, this policy has come under fire as all of the rested players played a full part in an Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) in UAE and will do so again in April-May this year. No England players have previously missed a home Test to take part in the IPL, but Silverwood confirmed they will be available to play in the entire tournament this time around.
“The rotation system, I’m happy with that. You look at the amount of cricket that we’ve played and the amount we have in front of us, we have got to be proactive in looking after our players, making sure we keep them as fresh as possible so we can keep them going as long as possible,” said the England head coach.