England rotate squad for final one-day international against West Indies


Click to follow
The Independent Online

England's rotation policy appears to be here to stay after Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan were rested for Friday's final one-day international against the West Indies.

The selectors created a whirlwind of debate over their decision to stand new-ball bowler James Anderson down from the final Test against the tourists, a decision they felt was justified by their unassailable 2-0 lead in the series and the punishing workload of their key men.

Team director Andy Flower responded to criticism in some quarters by outlining at length his strategic reasons for leaving the in-form Anderson out of the squad, and subsequently declined to select Broad when the Test was reduced to three days by rain.

Now, faced with an identical scenario in the 50-over series - 2-0 up with one to play - Broad, Swann and Bresnan have been removed from the frontline, with call-ups instead for Surrey's Stuart Meaker and Kent's James Tredwell.

Warwickshire's Chris Woakes, who was added to the squad as cover for Jade Dernbach following the tragic death of Surrey team-mate Tom Maynard on Monday, also has a chance to play.

Announcing the decision, national selector Geoff Miller said: "The fact that we have already won the NatWest series means we are able to take the opportunity to rest three players ahead of next week's series against Australia and take a closer look at players who are likely to feature in our limited-overs planning going forward."

Yet just as Anderson's resting from the Test arena was not welcomed by everyone, last night's decision was already attracting disapproval.

Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew is a notable critic of the policy but found his latest intervention on the subject challenged by Broad.

Agnew wrote on Twitter: "Who will buy advance tickets for final Test/ODI of a series when there is a good chance you won't see 1st team?

"Once a sport stops picking its best team it loses integrity. Players/fans/rights holders. England caps are precious."

Although Anderson was frustrated by being rested, Broad appears to be more understanding of the reasons and defended the ECB's policy.

"Would you prefer players careers to finish early through injury by playing every game put in the schedule by people in suits?," he wrote.

"Players hate missing games. It is just unrealistic to play every game a be at your best."

Also on the social networking site, Meaker used his elevation to the senior side to pay tribute to Maynard.

"Jwd-16 (Dernbach) and I have been given a chance to play this Friday for the memory of Tommy Maynard. I hope we can do him proud," said the seamer.