Ian Botham, former England all-rounder did not mince words on England’s contentious rest-and-rotation policy. The legendary all-rounder called said that he would not have liked someone ordering him to take a rest after a couple of good Tests during his playing days.
England’s rotation policy, devised to manage the workload of multi-format players and avoid lengthy periods in bio-bubbles, got underway before the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year. However, since then, the management led by Chris Silverwood and Ashley Giles has repeatedly forced the team to field second-string sides for crucial Test matches, leading to defeats against India (3-1 in 4 Test Series) and New Zealand (1-0 in 2 Test Series).
Ian Botham: Rotation Is An Absolute Garbage
As part of the policy, England rotated several key players for important assignments – including the tour of India earlier this year – including Jos Buttler, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Mark Wood, and Jonny Bairstow, as the team drew flak from former cricketers.
Ian Botham gruffly brushed aside the need for workload management, saying athletes should look to get and stay fit by playing regularly more games and rotation is absolute garbage as one stays fit by bowling.
“I am not sure we are picking the right players. Rotation, I think, is the biggest load of b******s of all time. Absolute garbage. I tell you what, I would like to have seen someone say to me when I was playing “well done, but you’re having a rest next game”. Er no I’m not. Bowl, get fit and stay fit by bowling,” Ian Botham was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Ian Botham: England’s Batting Is A Big Worry
Ian Botham also slammed the England team management and players for their 1-0 loss against New Zealand. He said their decision to draw the 1st Lord’s Test by not chasing a competitive target of 273 from 75 overs wasn’t the best for Test cricket, adding that the series defeat was ‘what they deserved’.
“I think our batting is a big worry. Last month, England had a great opportunity at Lord’s when they were given the opportunity of a last-day run chase against New Zealand. People had been waiting for months and months to see live sport and to go out and bat like that in the final innings with no intent was appalling.”
“I thought ‘you guys need to wake up a bit, you rely on the public’. Their reason for why they didn’t do it was because Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes weren’t playing. Excuse me. That gives a chance for someone else to come through. I thought it was very weak. They got what they deserved in the end, to be quite frank,” added Ian Botham.
England will host India for 5 Tests, starting on August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Among England batsmen, Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the recent Test series, but is still being persisted with. Dominic Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand.
Joe Root managed only 97 runs averaging a mere 24.25, Dominic Sibley managed 103 runs averaging 34.33, Daniel Lawrence managed 81 runs averaging 40.5 while Rory Burns, England’s highest scorer managed 238 runs averaging 59.5 in the 2 match Test series against New Zealand.