After helping England stun the Windies in the first ODI, star all-rounder, Ben Stokes is rested for the three-match T20Is. Besides, Jos Buttler, the wicketkeeper-batsman has also been given rest for the shortest format.
Meanwhile, both the players will be allowed to leave for their country immediately after the fourth ODI. As both, Stokes and Buttler remain to be an integral part of the England team in 2019 – given their schedule (2019 World Cup and home Ashes); they will also ply their trade in the IPL 2019, which begins on March 23rd.
Ed Smith explains giving rest to star players
Since the IPL 2019 is nearly a month away, speculations of the players prioritising franchise cricket over the country could boil up. Before it even takes centre stage, Ed Smith, England’s national selector, has cleared the air – saying he didn’t keep the national duty on the second place by resting the pair. Ed added the forthcoming months could be cramped for the players; thus keeping in mind the same, he has taken such a call.
“I have not favoured franchise cricket over international cricket,” Smith said. “The contracts that Jos and Ben had with their franchises pre-date my involvement. There were a set of obligations in place and, with a busy year coming up, I’ve accepted the strong recommendations of the head coach to rest these guys now.”
Apart from Ben and Jos, the opening batsman, Jason Roy will also miss the Windies T20Is due to the birth of his first child. Roy starred in the first ODI against Windies at Barbados – hitting his seventh ODI hundred alongside Joe Root’s 102. Meanwhile, Sam Billings and Dawid Malan have been recalled to the T20I squad for the first time since last year’s Australia, New Zealand tour.
Joe Root is an asset to England – Smith
Though Root happens to be England’s favourite son across Tests and ODIs, his presence in the T20I side is not taken too seriously. England’s Test captain recently featured for Sydney Thunders in the BBL; he had fared well with the bat during Windies Tests and the last ODI as well. Smith, who’d answered about Root’s inclusion in the T20I squad in the past said Joe is an asset to the country.
“Joe is an absolutely critical asset for English cricket in the very big 2019 summer,” Smith said. “His form and preparation is essential for England, so we did discuss resting him. But he is very keen to play in these games. He feels playing in the white-ball sides offers a different experience to captaining the Test side and he likes that blend.” Ed Smith added.
England T20 squad –
Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, David Willey, Mark Wood