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Resting! Good Idea?

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Post by Stella Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:28 am

England rested two main bowlers for this test and considering their number 11 made 95, do people think in hindsight that it was the right thing to do?

I was all for resting Anderson but two players and did England go into this test with one eye the ODI's and the South Africa series?

Dropped catches and poor bowling at the tailenders suggests they weren't quite up for it like 'great' teams should be.
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Post by Fists of Fury Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:53 am

Disrespectful to the paying public, for a start.

These boys (Anderson and Broad) are fit, in their prime and hungry for Test wickets. If they wanted to play they should have been allowed to. It is good in a way to see Finn and Onions bowl, but it hasn't told us anything new.

They're both very good bowlers. Not as good as Jimmy or Broad, but good nonetheless. It also messed with the balance of England's side, not only lower down the batting order and with regard to who takes the new ball but in the field, too. And didn't it show. Granted, if we have an injury at some stage, then something similar will have to happen, but at least with a forced change you know there isn't an element of complacency. In this instance, there was a great deal of it.

The timing was bizarre, too. Broad is more understandable, given that he is integral to the ODI and T20 sides, but Anderson? He might not even play in some of the ODI fixtures, and he is a Test bowler first and foremost. If it wasn't for the pointless deluge of ODI's (Australia series - WHY? We have two Ashes series in quick succession, which will have their own ODI's against the convicts) about to swamp the calendar then we wouldn't have such worries. Also, we may still have KP available in all formats were it not for such a horrific schedule.

I'd rather not see it happen again.

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Post by Guest Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:08 am

I am against it in all honesty. Especially given that Anderson or Broad didn't come out and say that they were exhausted or suffering from niggles. Also it disrupts their rythym and form. Decisions like this will cause un-rest and conflict within the team. If the selectors want to keep the players fresh, maybe just look at the schedules.

How do the bowlers coming in feel knowing that it is a stop gap without really leading to a sustained spell in the team?

I do wonder how much logical thinking went into the decision making process.

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Post by Stella Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:13 am

The two bowlers that came in are very good but to me it says 'this game doesn't matter' and taking that mindset into a game is risky.
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Post by DouglasJardinesbox Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:57 am

Agree with all the above. Play your strongest team at all times. What if Onions took 8 for 22? Would he then be dropped for the next test? It just adds a new complexity when it doesn't need to be. And the dopey attitude on the field was a direct reflection of the apathetic approach by the selectors in 'dropping' our 1&2 fasties. Drop them......

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Post by Galted Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:43 pm

Don't see the problem with dropping them, might be handy for the bowlers in the wings to have had some recent test experience if one of the first-choice players are injured before or during the SA series.
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Post by DouglasJardinesbox Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:57 pm

Galted wrote:Don't see the problem with dropping them, might be handy for the bowlers in the wings to have had some recent test experience if one of the first-choice players are injured before or during the SA series.

It's their job, and we know they are good enough, and they bowl most days of the week. And they are proven at test level. They are just not as good as Jimmy and Broady. So I disagree on this one......

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Post by Galted Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:01 pm

Agree that they're not as good as Anderson & Broad but that's unlikely to change if they're not given opportunities. Fair enough they bowl on most days of the week but I don't think the same pressure of expectation exists in county cricket compared to packed stands in a test match.
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Post by Mike Selig Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:36 pm

I thought it was a good idea. I still think in the long run it's a good idea, I don't think we should write it off because of this one game. There were a few things here which worked against England, as well:
- it was a dead test: on the plus side this means pressure was off, on the flip side, pressure was off... The England side certainly seemed the wrong side of "relaxed" to me. This was of course exacerbated by not picking the strongest team (I avoid the word "best": best and strongest are different).
- It rained the 1st two days and was going to rain on the final day: in these circumstances a result was extremely unlikely, and it's hard to get yourself up for a game which is almost a guaranteed draw.
- England's catching was awful - that's not the bowlers fault (although as Fists points out it was a consequence of dropping Anderson)
- That last wicket partnership was really "one of those things" - I don't think too much should be read into it.

Australia practised rotation in ODIs for a long period of time (about 2001 until at least 2008) and this helped them win 2 world cups: for example in 2003 when Warne, Gillespie and later Martyn were unavailable for one reason or another up stepped Hogg, Bichel and Harvey and each played their part. In 2007 they were without Brett Lee who was arguably the leading one-day bowler at that time but still cruised to victory. The fact that they rotated their players over the years didn't do much harm (indeed any) to their winning ratios, and helped them in the long run.

Is this something you can also do at test level? Taking away the argument "Tests are special, One-days aren't" one of the problems is that by virtue of their length, Test matches mean any difference in quality is likely to be exacerbated, and particularly in the bowling department (whereas in ODIs differences in bowling could mean 5 or 10 runs conceded more in 10 overs, in tests the difference between 3-80 and 4/60 is of course much more). The long term benefits are of course obvious, but do the short-term inconveniences outweigh them? I'm not sure, and it's not something I think you should just ditch after one fairly poor attempt. As I said in this case England were too relaxed, and the players have to take responsibility for that, whatever the managerial decisions made were. I'm sure Flower will be reminding them of playing hard in all situations.

Arguments about the paying public as usual don't come into it. You can't bemoan the commercialisation of cricket driven by the IPL and then come up with such statements. Cricket is a sport, the public are fans and the England selectors shouldn't take any notice of what they think or want.

Andy Flower is looking at other sports and other versions of the game, and what the truly successful sides have done and trying to translate that accross to test cricket. That is no bad thing. What remains to be seen is whether the uniqueness of test cricket means that this particular experiment can't carry over successfully.

So to sum-up and to answer the question: it is too early to tell.

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Post by Stella Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:43 pm

Nice post, Mike!

I didn't see all of the last wicket partnership but the bowling was pretty tame with to many line and length balls and not much variation, so not just one of those things for me.

Too early seems the sensible answer. I'm not a fan, especially two players but I can see the reasoning. If they do it again, then play like you bloody well mean it.
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Post by Guest Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:00 pm

Some very good points Mike.

Drawing parallels from other sports can yield different outcomes. Look at the English national team and compare it to the Brazil's of the past and more recent Spain. They never rest their best players, even in friendlies. This is something that England have done for 12 years and still has yet to see the full benefits.

Also with cricket I feel there is much more pressure for players to retain the places in the side whether it be Test, ODI or 20/20. Things have change more now with the IPL as to me it seemed more lucrative to player internationals with the central contracts on offer. Now with IPL it has changed the player's priorities.

Even though rightly the test is a 'Dead Rubber' if your Finn or Onions why would you put every ounce to your performance when you know that come the next series you won't play? It causes all kinds of internal conflict. Yes the players that come in get that experience, but what purpose would it serve? It may open their profiles to the IPL's in following seasons.

Also what about their counties? How do they feel with their premier players who are playing a 'dead' test when their efforts could be better served for their county and their successes and the risk on un-necessary injuries.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:21 pm

LK, good points, let me answer them in succession:

legendkillarV2 wrote:
Drawing parallels from other sports can yield different outcomes. Look at the English national team and compare it to the Brazil's of the past and more recent Spain. They never rest their best players, even in friendlies. This is something that England have done for 12 years and still has yet to see the full benefits.

I am not sure a parallel with international football is the right one: football is still a game dominated by the club game, and internationals are comparitively few and far between; they certainly don't play all year round like the international cricket teams do. On the other hand, Barcelona certainly don't pick the same XI week in week out; in rugby (union) rotation is made necessary by the sheer physicality of the sport; in team-fencing it is unusual for the same 3 or 4 to compete at all the team events in a year.

legendkillarV2 wrote:Also with cricket I feel there is much more pressure for players to retain the places in the side whether it be Test, ODI or 20/20. Things have change more now with the IPL as to me it seemed more lucrative to player internationals with the central contracts on offer. Now with IPL it has changed the player's priorities.

Yes, but how much of this is down to tradition and history? It used to be the case that a test player made most of his money out of appearance bonuses - with central contracts this is no longer the case.

legendkillarV2 wrote:Even though rightly the test is a 'Dead Rubber' if your Finn or Onions why would you put every ounce to your performance when you know that come the next series you won't play? It causes all kinds of internal conflict. Yes the players that come in get that experience, but what purpose would it serve? It may open their profiles to the IPL's in following seasons.

No I think Finn and Onions would put every ounce in TBH. Brett Lee used to say when he was 12th man (in the days where Kasperwicz and Bichel were at times considered more suitable for test cricket) that his aim was to be the best 12th man, and whenever he got his chance for whatever reason to perform to make sure the selectors knew he was ready and raring to go. Or take Damien Martyn: for a long time Australia's batting reserve, played the odd test due to injury and usually performed, including a match-winning 89 not out against New-Zealand; this kept the pressure on, and when Langer had an average summer he was unceremoniously dropped; had Martyn not performed quite as well, the selectors may have stuck with Langer a while longer. Same for Finn: he knows that the better he plays in the one-off, the more likely it is that a dip in form in one of the other seamers will give him his chance.

And to be honest if you can't give 100% when you get a chance to play for your country, whatever the circumstances, I find that more than a little strange.

I would say on the whole Finn and Onions gave their all; the problem was the TEAM wasn't in the right frame of mind. That is something Flower will be looking to address.

legendkillarV2 wrote:Also what about their counties? How do they feel with their premier players who are playing a 'dead' test when their efforts could be better served for their county and their successes and the risk on un-necessary injuries.

Finn's centrally contracted so not much middlesex can complain about TBH. Honestly? England comes first. That's not to say we should ignore the counties entirely, but I think the balance as it is is probably right.

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Post by Guest Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:45 pm

Can't argue with any of that Mike.

It is interesting in the case of Anderson who only really became a big part of the Test side in 2007 when England were re-building and he was 25 at the time. Now he is nearly 30 and I thought he may have wanted to play in this Test. Broad is young so I could understand it. Maybe with Anderson he might want to get the Test matches in while he is still in the team.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:14 pm

Well the rumour is that Anderson was carrying a couple of minor injuries, but my one source in the ECB who could know something about that isn't talking...

Anderson apparently really wanted to play and declared himself fit, which of course he would.

I'm surprised they rested both Anderson and Broad: just Anderson, or even Anderson and a batsman (but Pietersen not playing ODIs, Trott needed runs really, so not much choice), but to rest your two spearheads was always asking for trouble somewhat.

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