England head-coach Chris Silverwood said in a virtual press-conference that he is not afraid to enforce the rotational policy despite the visitors winning the first Test match against India by a massive 227 runs. England will play the second Test also in Chennai from February 13 onwards, as they look to gain a 2-0 lead in the four-match Test series.
During the Sri Lanka tour, England followed the rotation policy and played Stuart Broad in the first Test while pacer James Anderson was picked in the playing XI for the second Test. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had already announced that wicket-keeper Jos Buttler will only be available for the first Test match and will come back home to rest.
Not reluctant to change the winning combination: Chris Silverwood
“I’m not reluctant to change a winning team now. If it’s the best thing to do for the players and the team and the longevity of it. You run the risk of the result being different, you could play the same team and the result would be different because we know India will come back hard. We know they’re a very good team and we’ve got the utmost respect for them, “Silverwood said in the virtual press conference shared by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday.
Jos Buttler heads back to England to spend time with his family before coming back to India for the white-ball series against India, which consists of three ODI matches, to be played in Pune and three T20I matches, to be played in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, Ben Foakes will take over the wicket-keeping duties for the remainder of three Test matches.
“Ben is looking good and has been training hard and obviously having this opportunity coming his way has given him a great focus over the last couple of weeks. I don’t see it as weakening, I see it as an opportunity for people to come in and show what they can do as well because last time he was in the subcontinent he was very successful. So I am looking forward to him,” said Chris Silverwood.
Cannot guarantee James Anderson will play in the second Test in Chennai: Chris Silverwood
38-year-old James Anderson was the main reason England managed to win the first Test as in India’s second innings, he removed a well-set Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane in the same over and then a couple of overs later got rid of Rishabh Pant as well.
“He blew the game open for us there. It was quite remarkable to watch. Anyone watching at home – any aspiring fast bowlers – when you see an over like that, it’s inspirational. He hit his straps straight away with his swing, and to be so accurate. It just shows what a class act he is,” Silverwood lauded Anderson’s spell.
However, the England coach said that he won’t guarantee the fourth-highest Test wicket-taker in the world, a place in the playing XI for the second match, especially with Stuart Broad waiting in the wings for an opportunity. He also said that he is entertaining the idea of playing both Anderson and Broad.
“Broady [Stuart Broad] didn’t play in the last game and we’ve many bowlers here who we could play at any given point … I’m not reluctant to change a winning team if it’s the best thing to do for the players and the team and the longevity of it. Has it crossed my mind? Yes – they are both class acts. Things are working at the moment but we do have to look after our players and I just feel very lucky I have an abundance of talent that means we can do this,” added Silverwood.
The victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday lifted England to first place and 70.2 percentage points on the points table and they’ve improved their chances of securing one of the three series results in their favor that could see them through to the final – 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0.