England's strength in depth is 'envy of world'

 

Anyone following England 10 years ago could never have thought it would come to this. The improbable state of current affairs was enunciated yesterday by the West Indies coach, Ottis Gibson.

Asked if he was insulted by England's decision to rest three players from the third one-day international, which takes place at Headingley today, Gibson said: "Not really. The English system has been a well-oiled machine for some time now and it's the envy of the world. They are the top team in the world and have the luxury to rest players and it's a credit to them and all the people that work behind the scenes."

Gibson knows whereof he speaks. Before he took up his present post with the West Indies, he was England's bowling coach. He watched the development before his eyes and was instrumental in part of it.

As he observed, England can only rest players – in this case Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann – if they are winning, and part of the reason they are winning is the system they have put in place.

The trouble is that critics continue to insist with some justification , if players need resting, the programme is too crowded and spectators are at risk of being cheated of seeing the star players in regular action.

England still have something of a selection conundrum. They must decide whether to play Jade Dernbach or Stuart Meaker following the death of their Surrey team-mate, Tom Maynard, on Monday. Both are naturally still upset, and Dernbach was particularly close to him.

In the circumstances, when resting is the order of the day, it might have been wiser to allow both to step down. England want to do the right thing by everybody but still have a duty to select the players who are best prepared for the job and not appearing as a tribute to a fallen colleague.

Samit Patel is likely to come in for Swann and Chris Woakes, back to fitness and in splendid all-round form for Warwickshire, should play his first international at home.

Headingley: Details for the third ODI

Probable teams

England A N Cook (capt), I R Bell, I J L Trott, R S Bopara, E J G Morgan, C Kieswetter (wkt), S R Patel, S T Finn, J M Anderson, C R Woakes, S C Meaker.

West Indies C H Gayle, L M P Simmons, M N Samuels, D R Smith, D J Bravo, K A Pollard, D E Ramdin (wkt), D J G Sammy (capt), T B Best, S P Narine, R Rampaul.

Weather

Overcast all day, with a high chance of rain throughout the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 14C.

TV details

Sky Sports 1, 10.30am-7pm.

Highlights: Channel 5, 7-8pm.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test