Silverwood doesn’t rule out Ashes rotation.


The majority of the England test squad are on their way home after being humbled 3-1 by a dominant Indian team.


All winter we've rotated our players, rarely playing out best XI in consecutive games. Whether that's Jos Buttler missing 75% of the India Series, Sam Curran missing all of it, Moeen Ali, Rory Burns, Jonny Bairstow, we've done a lot of chopping and changing.


Cricket is being played in extraordinary circumstances at the moment, with player movement being tightly controlled due to the ongoing pandemic. The rotation policy has been useful for maintaining the welfare of the playing squad, and if you listen to England heach coach Chris Silverwood, that's not going to change anytime soon.

Let's just break this down into the three parts outlined above.


1) Some players may miss the New Zealand series to play in the IPL


On the surface, I'm not someone who agrees with prioritising franchise cricket over the international game. However, I think this year we can make an exception.


This October the West Indies will be looking to defend their T20 title in India, with it being a world cup year, I'm not opposed to the England players getting as much T20 exposure as possible, especially in the IPL, playing on tracks that will be similar to the ones we'll see in the World Cup.


It makes a lot of sense to prioritise that over a New Zealand series that has little consequence. It also gives some of the fringe players in the England side a good chance to stake their claim. Guys, who don't have IPL deals like Dan Lawrence, James Bracey should get extended time if any of the England players miss significant time.


2) Rotation policy will continue this summer


England have 2 tests against New Zealand and 5 tests against India this summer, and if we're still in these bio-secure bubbles, which looks likely, then the rotation policy can be understood. We don't know what it's like to live in these bubbles, and how restrictive they may be, every player is different and every player needs to be treated as an individual. If someone needs to break the bubble to spend time with their family, then I get that.


Like players potentially missing time through the IPL, this will give some fringe players an opportunity. I don't think that this test team is set for the most important series in test cricket, the Ashes. I'm still not sold on anyone batting above Root and I think there is a spot there at #6 to be claimed. So if we're going to rotate players and give others an opportunity to stake their claim, I'm all for it.


Maybe it will mean a call for impressive Somerset opener Tom Lammonby, maybe a shot for Nottingham batsman Joe Clarke (if the ECB end his international ban). Maybe someone like Ollie Robinson or Ben Coad gets a chance with the ball.


3) Players may take breaks during the Ashes


Now just to reiterate the above stance, if it's to aid in a players welfare, mental health, then I have no problem with rotations. However, that should be at the request of a player or if team doctors, members believe that it's beneficial for the player.


I don't think rotation during the Ashes should be a given for the sake of rotation. The only standard rotation I want to see is that of the fast bowlers, and that's just to keep them fresh on tracks that will be hard graft, but offer good reward for some fast bowling.


When you're playing Australia with the urn on the line, your best batsman should play at all times if available, chopping and changing will destroy the dynamic and any form that is built up. We've already seen signs of players struggling to get into a grove when they join the tour halfway through, although I'm still not sold that's why Bairstow struggled in India.


It's admirable what England are trying to do with their rotation policy, but fielding a weaker team in the Ashes without needing to just weakens the international test game, and I don't think international test cricket can afford to be weakened any more than it already has.


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