England Captain Joe Root Over Rotation Policy
Alastair Cook has voiced compassion for Joe Root, England’s new Test captain, over a rotation scheme that he believes has left the current team “chasing their tail.”
Reasonable Reaction To The Unique Requirements
The England and Wales Cricket Board has justified the approach as a reasonable reaction to the unique requirements of extended durations in bio-secure bubbles required to keep the international game going in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Missing Five Tests In a Row
With wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler missing five Tests in a row, partially due to IPL commitments, many have questioned the policy’s application, if not the motivations behind it, amid charges that it is skewed in favor of white-ball cricket.
Seven-year Streak Came To an End
In February, England won 1-0 in India after a victory in Chennai, Buttler’s final Test. However, they were defeated 3-1 in that series, and their seven-year streak of not losing a home Test series came to an end this month as New Zealand won a two-match campaign1-0, with a draw at Lord’s and an eight-wicket defeat at Edgbaston.
Just giving this another run ahead of the start of England’s T20 series v Sri Lanka as Alastair Cook has highlighted a common complaint among many England fans — why is it so hard for the Test team to field their best XI? My @AFP piece via @ndtv https://t.co/rHHcMwnoGu #ENGvSL
— Julian Guyer (@stGuyer) June 22, 2021
Rest Breaks For The Following Players
Rest breaks for Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, and Mark Wood have worsened injuries to fast bowler Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes.
Chance to Shine
Cook, who was taking part in Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week alongside the Chance to Shine children’s cricket charity, said, “You have to say it hasn’t worked for Rooty, and I do truly feel terrible for him.”
“When you’re playing for England, or you’re the captain, coach or selector, you get judged on end results most of the time and he hasn’t had his best players available. You can’t buy the experience of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali — those kind of players make a big difference.”
“I’ve never had to captain during a pandemic— I didn’t even know what a pandemic was when I was captain— but you’ve got a Test captain who hasn’t been able to play his best side,” said Cook, who retired from international service in 2018 as England’s all-time record Test run-scorer.
“The decisions don’t seem like they’ve been made correctly. I’ve been on the other side, where you’re trying to make decisions for the right reasons, but you get judged on your results by it, don’t you?
“It was going so well, winning Test series at home, then Sri Lanka away and 1-0 up against India. Then you rest and rotate players, and ever since that moment on it’s been chasing their tail a little bit.”
Buttler, a multi-format superstar, took part in a separate conference call.
“I don’t think there are any perfect answers.”
“Of course it’s always frustrating to miss games.
“You wish you were available for everything. But in the current climate with all the complications of Covid etc, I do think we have to look after our people.”
Wholesale Changes To an Under-performing Test-match
Meanwhile, Cook has warned against wholesale changes to an under-performing Test-match top order, which has seen the positions of Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, and Dan Lawrence questioned ahead of a five-match series against India, which is currently competing in the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand.