June 12, 2012

English cricket

Everyone needs rest; modern sport simply demands it

Carlyle Laurie

Steve James, writing in the Daily Telegraph, says Andy Flower's decision to rest James Anderson from the third Test against West Indies was the right one, as every sportsman needs to be rested due to the demanding nature of modern sport.

Have they seen England’s international schedule? It is more crammed than a sporting student’s exam revision. England are the 19th and by far the busiest county. They are too busy. They have to play Scotland in a one-day international on Aug 12 when two full teams might be unavailable in between Tests against South Africa and A Tests against Australia A. Flower probably wants to criticise the schedule, but he cannot. That would upset his employers. It was right to rest Anderson and Broad. Just as it was right to rest Andrew Strauss for the Bangladesh tour in 2010. The Ashes later that year was the long-term vision then. We won them if you remember.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan, writing in the same newspaper, says that while England took many positives from their 2-0 victory against West Indies, there are areas that need working on ahead of the Test series against South Africa.

The pitches for this series were too slow. I know the weather has not helped but this England attack needs pace in the pitch. Against South Africa if you go in with slow wickets their batting line up will eat you up and make big scores. Against India last year we saw pace in the pitch and England blew them away.

Former West Indies batsman Viv Richards told Sam Sheringham in bbc.co.uk that Andrew Strauss's England have all the ingredients to dominate Test cricket for years to come.

"England are well led by Andrew Strauss and this is a team that has the potential to create a legacy," Richards said. “They have done their homework and found a solid wicket-taking bowling unit which is of vital importance at this level. You have guys waiting in the wings who are just waiting for an opportunity and their competitive edge is as good as any. Whatever happened in the past you have proven through hard work and investment that you can become very successful."

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