England will rest several big name players including captain Alastair Cook for the upcoming ODIs against Australia.
James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann are also due to miss out after the Three Lions’ resounding 3-0 Ashes victory.
The England selectors’ brave decision has raised questions about the fairness of selling tickets to fans in good faith, only to be told that five of England’s biggest stars will be absent.
Former captain Michael Vaughan tweeted that whilst he agrees with resting players, “the public should know before they buy a ticket” and likened the situation to that of more minor cup matches played by Premiership teams who subsequently put out a weakened side.
Michael Carberry, Chris Jordan, Jamie Overton and Boyd Rankin will come into the squad, despite having never played an ODI. Resting players after a hectic summer of cricket is understandable, but the decision should certainly be announced before fans pay money expecting to see a first XI.
However, even if the fans’ sentiments are not taken into account, the latest squad announcement is part of a wider problem that England do not take One Day Internationals seriously. It is unthinkable that such a major Test side has never won a trophy in the shorter form of the game, and this is primarily down to selection.
England will travel to Ireland for a One Day, captained (perhaps with a touch of irony) by Eoin Morgan. In yet another strange move by chief selector Geoff Miller, Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance and Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor – who were hotly tipped to replace Kevin Pietersen in The Ashes – will face Ireland but will then drop out of the squad again before the matches against Australia, to be replaced by Pietersen and Joe Root.
This would imply that Miller’s squad is not entirely experimental, and is not chiefly concerned with giving opportunities to new players. Either the ODI series matters, or it doesn’t, but England are set to find themselves in a predicament whereby they will struggle against their bitter rivals, but will have enough big names in the team so they can have no excuses.
With the Ashes wrapped up and nursing an injury to Tim Bresnan, England handed debuts to Simon Kerrigan and Chris Woakes in the final Test at the Oval, but both debutants struggled.
Test cricket is rightly a priority, but if England are to have any kind of real success in ODI’s, it is down to the selectors to change their attitude towards the game.
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