England rotation policy under scanner post defeat as team announces 3rd test squad .

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England ‘s wierd rotation policy comes in for heavier criticism post their heavy defeat to India in the 2nd test while they announced their 3rd test squad for pink ball test.

While James Anderson and Jofra Archer are set to return for test 3 , Stuart Broad is likely to miss out of the XI after being reduced to a passenger in the 2nd test where the spinners ruled . Johny Bairstow and Mark Wood  makes their return to the squad after the Srilanka series . Jos Buttler had already gone home after 1st test and now being followed by Moeen Ali after he snared 8 wickets and scored an electrifying 43 off 18 balls in 2nd test.  Moeen was given a choice by team management whether to stay or leave and he chose the latter. 

After first test England rested Anderson who looked lethal with his reverse swing in 3rd innings and played Broad in 2nd test, a move that backfired as Broad failed to improve on his bowling returns in India . Jofra was a force replacement for 2nd test and his substitute Olly Stone bowled with pace and looked really good. 

Now the overdose of rotation policy particularly for such a marquee test series vs India was heavily criticised by most experts including the Englishmen and rightly so.  To get a team to perform well in test cricket over a period of time , the team bonding and  a fixed set of players for a test XI with only a handful of spots up for horses for courses debate should be the right prescription.  However England went ahead and rested Anderson for test 2 . Dom Bess was dumped after getting some success though a bit expensive ,  in first test and was replaced by Moeen .  Buttler left for home  , Archer got injured ,  4 replacements in 2nd test including replacing injured Archer  and England went on to lose by 317 runs. 

The big questioned by many experts — Would England have gone with similar rotation attitude if this had been the Ashes ? Surely it’s a known fact that they would not have. This means that surprisingly they are not attaching so much importance to World test Championships as much as the Ashes.  On the other hand they are keeping the core team in T20I and ODI for most series.  Extremely surprising to note that the current England cricket hierarchy is attaching lesser importance to test cricket at the time when the WTC Championships has reached its final leg !! 

As Michael Vaughan put it . ” It is important for a cricketing nation to have a settled test  team with a set combination rather than chipping and changing in the name of rotation in which case the momentum of the team will get upset. 

Couple of tweets on England’s bizarre rotation policy:

I thought Test cricket was the main priority after 2019 to make sure England try and get back the Ashes !!!!! Why is it then that the Test team is being swapped & changed every week but the T20 team are at full strength !!!!! Moeen now off home after 1 Test in 18 months !!!

—- Michael Vaughan

 Congrats to India on a comprehensive win.  But one still shakes it’s head & wonders why England decided to rest players with 7/8 days  till the next one. Is that not enough time to recover? Needed 2 weeks? Really ?

—- Shane Warne

England squad for Third Test: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

** by Amitava Mukherjee

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