Whitaker expects bowler rotation
James Whitaker has hinted that rotation of England's attack will be a feature of the compressed, five-Test series against India, even if the bowlers themselves are not fans. Whitaker, the national selector, on Wednesday unveiled a 13-man squad for the first Test, which featured six seam-bowling options.
James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett played the two back-to-back Tests against Sri Lanka and Peter Moores conceded afterwards that their workloads would be monitored. Broad said he was not in favour of the idea at the series launch - "If we bowl them out cheaply we can keep playing," was his alternative - but Whitaker said he expected Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, the other seamers in the squad, to be involved at some point over the seven weeks.
Woakes was the unused man during the Sri Lanka series, while Stokes played four Tests against Australia, picking up 15 wickets along with the only century by an England batsman during the Ashes.
"We have got five Test matches in a very short space of time and one of the reasons to include six seamers there is that we believe at some stage they're all going to play," Whitaker said. "At the start of the series, while they're talking about the Indians and strategy and tactics, it makes sense to include that group so they get the first-hand knowledge straight away.
"We would like to think that the four who get picked on the day play brilliantly well and stay fantastically fit and the world's perfect, but realistically we need a group."
Stokes is thought most likely to compete with Jordan for a place at Trent Bridge, after Plunkett took nine wickets in the defeat to Sri Lanka at Headingley. Although Anderson was named England's Man of the Series for his 12 wickets, he and Broad, who was rested during the first few weeks of the season to manage his chronic knee problem, were asked to bowl long spells and appeared below their best as the game ran away from England in Sri Lanka's second innings.
Whitaker, however, said both would be fine to begin the India series at full throttle. "We know they are 100 per cent fit, they have been passed off fit by the medical team to be included, but they did just play back-to-back Tests and there will be fatigue that builds up," he said.