West Indies in England 2012 June 2, 2012

Workloads and players need careful managing

The international schedule demands that England rest their key performers or face a repeat of the Kevin Pietersen stand-off
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There is a certain irony in England debating whether to rest one player within a week of telling another he cannot rest as much as he would like. While it would be disingenuous to draw too many similarities between the cases of James Anderson and Kevin Pietersen, their scenarios do highlight a dilemma that looks sure to become a greater problem over the next year or two: the onerous international schedule.

When England name their squad for the third Test at Edgbaston it seems likely that Anderson will be excluded. Stuart Broad may also be rested for the game.

While their status as England's two first-choice seamers remains unquestioned, the England management are keen not to over exert them in a series that is already won. They hope that by providing opportunities to the back-up seamers, Steven Finn and, perhaps, Graham Onions, they can not only keep Anderson and Broad for more important matches to come but provide some experience to the support bowlers should they be required to step up in the future.

There is logic in that. While some will decry a perceived degradation in the value of Test cricket - also, with some logic - it is an inevitable sign of the times. There is no way England - or several other international teams - can get through the next 18-months without squad rotation. Those members of the squad who hope to play in all three formats of the game, can expect to spend less than two weeks (from December 24 to January 2) in England between late October and April. Even before that, they face a trip to Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20. It is asking too much of the players and their wives. It is not sustainable.

Anyone doubting the absurdity of the current fixture programme need only look at the scheduling of the ODI against Scotland on August 12. It comes just six days after the second Test against South Africa at Headingley and four days before the third Test at Lord's. To make matters worse, it is also scheduled two days after a Lions fixture against Australia A in Manchester and two days before a Lions fixture against the same opposition in Birmingham. It is surely the person responsible for such scheduling who should be the one 'retiring' from the ECB.

There is no way England can sustain such a fixture schedule at the same time as any pretence about the sanctity of international cricket. Something had to give and if it is resting a leading player or two from a Test in a sealed series against an opposition struggling for equilibrium, then so be it. That Anderson is not happy speaks volumes for his excellent temperament: it is good that he wants to play. But, just as he bounced back after being omitted from England's side for the World T20 success in the Caribbean, so he will bounce back from this. He is not the one about which England should worry.

"There is no way England can sustain the current fixture schedule at the same time as any pretence about the sanctity of international cricket"

No, it is Pietersen's future that is causing the headaches. Given the schedule and the way in which the ECB are keen to look after Anderson, it is not hard to understand why Pietersen wanted more time to rest. He was requesting, after all, only what England imposed on him a year ago by 'resting' him from the ODI series against India. Had the England management - too heavy on the stick and too sparing with the carrot - handled this situation better, he might simply have missed a few games this summer and resumed normal service over the winter. He might have continued to play ODI and T20I cricket. Or he might just have retired from ODIs. But, bearing in mind that England have a different captain for each format of the game, the ECB's argument that the ODI and T20I squads are so closely linked that opting out of one limited-overs format should automatically rule a player out of the other, is fatally flawed.

Perhaps Pietersen does not cut a particularly sympathetic figure. His decision - a decision that he would have been insane not to take - to participate in the IPL rather than resting will always rile some and, perhaps more pertinently, it is apparent that he has never developed the reservoir of loyalty and affection within the England set-up that others - the likes of Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood - did, to see him through the lean times. He has been tolerated, not embraced, for some time.

But just because Pietersen is not wildly popular does not make him wrong. His needs are not so different from those of Anderson. Perhaps they are expressed differently, perhaps they are more personal, but they are not so different. Both are individuals who require careful handling and both could, with careful management, still have a huge role to play in the future of England's Test and limited-overs teams. If the ECB continue to push the players too hard, however, the cracks will become more apparent.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on June 6, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Re- Anderson (cont.) - his S/R I would say he is below ave, @ almost 37, (I rate S/R as being more important than economy) - here Broad & Finn are superior, Bresnan & Tremlett are significantly worse. So I was saying that not having Anderson in ODIs would not be such a bad thing, he clearly is worth being in the squad from a pure ODI aspect. I would still hold that overall (with the primacy of Tests), England are better off searching for a replacement for him in ODIs & Broad in T20s (his stats are OK but not great, Sidebottom & Finn's are better). So IMO, if England have greater use of their "bench strength" in the Short Forms, they won't need to rotate their best bowlers in Tests. It's funny atm, it seems only batsmen in England are concentrating on Tests!

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    @jmcilhinney/JG2704 - I know the ODI series v Oz is a joke, however, I would think that resting their Test stars for it would be better than resting them from a Test. I think the stop/start nature of an ODI series is more likely to produce an injury, (particularly in Oz where there is plenty of air travel in between games). In tests, whilst a bowler will have to possibly bowl 300 balls (the equivilent of a 5-match series), it would only involve about 7 or 8 spells over 2 or 3 days versus around 15 spells over 2 weeks. Regarding Anderson getting an unfair rap - I have to admit I may of judged him harshly by comparing him to other bowlers from other countries. If you think it is fair to say England have underperformed in ODIs over the last 10 yrs, I had a look at all Eng bowlers from the last 10yrs - his E/R is (IMO very ave in Global terms) - only about 4 recent Eng pace bowlers are superior (Flintoff/Finn/Sidebottom/K Ali) TBC

  • JG2704 on June 5, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    @Meety- as I put earlier in the thread or on another I feel Eng should be more flexible with the contracts/workloads of the 3(now 2) who regularly play all 3 fmts.Re Shaz , I've not notice his form pick up recently.Woakes is one to use in the shorter forms.Re Broad - it's difficult as he is possibly our most valuable player across all 3 fmts but is also injury prone.Bres is a bit injury prone too and Jimmy is prone to burnout.I'm starting to wonder if they are overdoing the fitness/training whereby they're carrying the stress into the matches?I'm not fussed if they rest Broad in this one as I feel he is a key player in the shorter forms and as much as the T20s/ODIs are not AS important as the test rankings, I'd still like it if we maintained our T20 ranking and improved our ODI ranking although without KP it will be a tough ask.Re KP the more I think about it the more I feel it's to do with the fine re comms on Knight and see it getting messy with KP retiring from tests too maybe soon

  • jmcilhinney on June 5, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    @Meety on (June 05 2012, 10:22 AM GMT), I'm interested to see Woakes again too. he didn't seem to do too much wrong when he played in Australia after the Ashes. I seem to recall that he was even instrumental in England's win in one of the T20s. Obviously England didn't do well in that ODI series but I don't recall how many 50-over games Woakes played. I'm not sure that the powers that be consider his batting strong enough to warrant calling him an all-rounder though. As for Anderson, I think he's a real power in Tests and not such a standout in ODIs, but I think he does get judged a little too harshly based mainly on not having had a great WC. Who in the England team could actually claim to have done so though. I also thing that England have backed themselves into a corner with this ODI series against Australia. It's pointless but it's on so they have to take it seriously. Resting players during that series would flag it as a complete joke, which is not good if ODIs are in danger.

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    My advice to the ECB is not to rotate your star bowlers from Tests, just don't select them for ODIs & T20s. For your short forms a bowling attack that has Woakes, Shahzad & Patel in it would do reasonably well, at least in comparison to recent bowling (last 5 yrs), performances in short forms.

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    On a micro level, Broad being given the T20 captaincy has a lot going for it, (succession planning, inventive tactics? etc), however, here is an injury prone bowling allrounder who is now pretty much bedded to 3 formats, this (IMO) spells disaster over the long run. I think that Shahzad is a very good ODI bowler (looked good in Oz), if he was to be included in the short form squads - surely that would instantly releive workload issues? Oz have what I consider a benefit in having Brett Lee playing in the Short Forms, he is still one of the best ODI bowlers in the world & it means we lose absolutely nothing by resting Siddle & even Harris from that Form's fixtures. MJ is coming back into the ODI squad & I think that will further lessen the workload. I think there needs to be some research done into the stresses on a fast bowler, as I understand it, they bowl less in matches than in the past, but play more games. What stresses are they under that leads to more injuries? TBC

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    The KP saga is just a side issue in relation to the heading of this article. I disagree with using the term "rotation" though. I do beleive that "resting" your plays, even for a dead rubber, devalues tests. I am not writing this little rant as bagging the writer or the ECB, I understand the reasons for resting Anderson. The simple question is 'why not rest Mr Anderson from the ODIs & T20s? No reflection on Anderson's ability, however, is he really amongst the best short form bowlers England have? (I'd say nope!). This article really sits at the edge of the real "workload" issue (IMO). I actually don't think there is too many fixtures, just too much of a backward mentality on most selection panels. There is no REAL reason why the best cricket nations can't have seperate squads for seperate formats. The KP saga is in the long run a good thing for England, a quality batting resource focussing on tests is great, why can't they do the same with Anderson? TBC

  • jmcilhinney on June 5, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    @GeorgeWBush on (June 05 2012, 03:27 AM GMT), you obviously don't listen to enough Australian cricket commentary. :-)

  • GeorgeWBush on June 5, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    @RandyOz. I've not heard it called chin music before. I'm going to use that in future.

  • GeorgeWBush on June 5, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    I think the reason England opt for only 4 bowlers is in part due to Swann being an exceptional spinner who very rarely fails to keep the scoring rate down, even if he is not taking wickets. The other reason is that all the England bowlers are extremely fit. I never looks like Anderson, Broad or Bresnan are labouring at the end of a day in the field. Sure there are passages of play when England a struggling to find a breakthrough but it is not normally because the bowlers are tiring - just because the opposition batsmen are batting well. With any other group of players England would have to play 5 bowlers but as it is they continue playing 4 for the foreseeable future. I suspect Bopara will be in the team for South Africa in part because he offers an option of a few overs that are of higher quality than anything the other part time bowlers (Trott or Pietersen) can offer.

  • Meety on June 6, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Re- Anderson (cont.) - his S/R I would say he is below ave, @ almost 37, (I rate S/R as being more important than economy) - here Broad & Finn are superior, Bresnan & Tremlett are significantly worse. So I was saying that not having Anderson in ODIs would not be such a bad thing, he clearly is worth being in the squad from a pure ODI aspect. I would still hold that overall (with the primacy of Tests), England are better off searching for a replacement for him in ODIs & Broad in T20s (his stats are OK but not great, Sidebottom & Finn's are better). So IMO, if England have greater use of their "bench strength" in the Short Forms, they won't need to rotate their best bowlers in Tests. It's funny atm, it seems only batsmen in England are concentrating on Tests!

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    @jmcilhinney/JG2704 - I know the ODI series v Oz is a joke, however, I would think that resting their Test stars for it would be better than resting them from a Test. I think the stop/start nature of an ODI series is more likely to produce an injury, (particularly in Oz where there is plenty of air travel in between games). In tests, whilst a bowler will have to possibly bowl 300 balls (the equivilent of a 5-match series), it would only involve about 7 or 8 spells over 2 or 3 days versus around 15 spells over 2 weeks. Regarding Anderson getting an unfair rap - I have to admit I may of judged him harshly by comparing him to other bowlers from other countries. If you think it is fair to say England have underperformed in ODIs over the last 10 yrs, I had a look at all Eng bowlers from the last 10yrs - his E/R is (IMO very ave in Global terms) - only about 4 recent Eng pace bowlers are superior (Flintoff/Finn/Sidebottom/K Ali) TBC

  • JG2704 on June 5, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    @Meety- as I put earlier in the thread or on another I feel Eng should be more flexible with the contracts/workloads of the 3(now 2) who regularly play all 3 fmts.Re Shaz , I've not notice his form pick up recently.Woakes is one to use in the shorter forms.Re Broad - it's difficult as he is possibly our most valuable player across all 3 fmts but is also injury prone.Bres is a bit injury prone too and Jimmy is prone to burnout.I'm starting to wonder if they are overdoing the fitness/training whereby they're carrying the stress into the matches?I'm not fussed if they rest Broad in this one as I feel he is a key player in the shorter forms and as much as the T20s/ODIs are not AS important as the test rankings, I'd still like it if we maintained our T20 ranking and improved our ODI ranking although without KP it will be a tough ask.Re KP the more I think about it the more I feel it's to do with the fine re comms on Knight and see it getting messy with KP retiring from tests too maybe soon

  • jmcilhinney on June 5, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    @Meety on (June 05 2012, 10:22 AM GMT), I'm interested to see Woakes again too. he didn't seem to do too much wrong when he played in Australia after the Ashes. I seem to recall that he was even instrumental in England's win in one of the T20s. Obviously England didn't do well in that ODI series but I don't recall how many 50-over games Woakes played. I'm not sure that the powers that be consider his batting strong enough to warrant calling him an all-rounder though. As for Anderson, I think he's a real power in Tests and not such a standout in ODIs, but I think he does get judged a little too harshly based mainly on not having had a great WC. Who in the England team could actually claim to have done so though. I also thing that England have backed themselves into a corner with this ODI series against Australia. It's pointless but it's on so they have to take it seriously. Resting players during that series would flag it as a complete joke, which is not good if ODIs are in danger.

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    My advice to the ECB is not to rotate your star bowlers from Tests, just don't select them for ODIs & T20s. For your short forms a bowling attack that has Woakes, Shahzad & Patel in it would do reasonably well, at least in comparison to recent bowling (last 5 yrs), performances in short forms.

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    On a micro level, Broad being given the T20 captaincy has a lot going for it, (succession planning, inventive tactics? etc), however, here is an injury prone bowling allrounder who is now pretty much bedded to 3 formats, this (IMO) spells disaster over the long run. I think that Shahzad is a very good ODI bowler (looked good in Oz), if he was to be included in the short form squads - surely that would instantly releive workload issues? Oz have what I consider a benefit in having Brett Lee playing in the Short Forms, he is still one of the best ODI bowlers in the world & it means we lose absolutely nothing by resting Siddle & even Harris from that Form's fixtures. MJ is coming back into the ODI squad & I think that will further lessen the workload. I think there needs to be some research done into the stresses on a fast bowler, as I understand it, they bowl less in matches than in the past, but play more games. What stresses are they under that leads to more injuries? TBC

  • Meety on June 5, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    The KP saga is just a side issue in relation to the heading of this article. I disagree with using the term "rotation" though. I do beleive that "resting" your plays, even for a dead rubber, devalues tests. I am not writing this little rant as bagging the writer or the ECB, I understand the reasons for resting Anderson. The simple question is 'why not rest Mr Anderson from the ODIs & T20s? No reflection on Anderson's ability, however, is he really amongst the best short form bowlers England have? (I'd say nope!). This article really sits at the edge of the real "workload" issue (IMO). I actually don't think there is too many fixtures, just too much of a backward mentality on most selection panels. There is no REAL reason why the best cricket nations can't have seperate squads for seperate formats. The KP saga is in the long run a good thing for England, a quality batting resource focussing on tests is great, why can't they do the same with Anderson? TBC

  • jmcilhinney on June 5, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    @GeorgeWBush on (June 05 2012, 03:27 AM GMT), you obviously don't listen to enough Australian cricket commentary. :-)

  • GeorgeWBush on June 5, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    @RandyOz. I've not heard it called chin music before. I'm going to use that in future.

  • GeorgeWBush on June 5, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    I think the reason England opt for only 4 bowlers is in part due to Swann being an exceptional spinner who very rarely fails to keep the scoring rate down, even if he is not taking wickets. The other reason is that all the England bowlers are extremely fit. I never looks like Anderson, Broad or Bresnan are labouring at the end of a day in the field. Sure there are passages of play when England a struggling to find a breakthrough but it is not normally because the bowlers are tiring - just because the opposition batsmen are batting well. With any other group of players England would have to play 5 bowlers but as it is they continue playing 4 for the foreseeable future. I suspect Bopara will be in the team for South Africa in part because he offers an option of a few overs that are of higher quality than anything the other part time bowlers (Trott or Pietersen) can offer.

  • jmcilhinney on June 4, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    @Vaibhav Gupta on (June 04 2012, 17:26 PM GMT), um, yes, that's 5 and then 2 against WI makes... 7, just as JG said. No wonder stats are such a challenge if simple counting is too hard.

  • on June 4, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    "Posted by JG2704 on (June 03 2012, 15:18 PM GMT)

    @rahulcricket007 on (June 03 2012, 13:45 PM GMT) I know you love your stats but at least get the stats right. He (Anderson) has played every test in UAE/SL and Eng this year. That makes it 7 tests (3.5 x the number you quoted). ".......

    Well JG2704, England played 3 tests against Pakistan and 2 tests against SL. That makes it 5. To get 7, were you counting warm-up matches?

  • on June 4, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    I agree with a lot of English fans, the best way to give the bowlers some rest is by adding another seamer into the current mix. I can understand Anderson's disagreement with the rotating policy on two counts 1. In this competive climate, all bowlers will naturally feel a little insecure. They have and know their limitions, they do not need someone from Australia/India to say that. (Take my word for it, if Onions/Fin fire big time and if Bres/Broad fail to make an impact in SA series, you short term memoried fans will be the first to ask for changes). 2. If Anders/Broad/Bres are really on top of their game, they naturally will want to play more NOW, than being preserved for longevity. A fit and firing Anderson for 3/4 years will do more damage than a 37 year old injury prone Anderson. I still do not understand why Anderson, cause he is not that tall, he is not fat and he is built to bowl longer spells (proof is he has not been injured for some time in the past). So why him?.

  • jmcilhinney on June 4, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (June 04 2012, 10:09 AM GMT), out of interest I thought I'd just do a quick check. I didn't look at any of the other numerous stories on the Eng-Pak Test series in UAE but I did look at the official reports for each game. I commented twice on the first Test, once on the second and twice on the third. If you'd care to take a look I'm sure that you'll find plenty of other comments from me on the other stories too. I'm just wondering exactly what you're basing your "welcome" on. Obviously not facts, which are rarely the basis for anything you post.

  • whatawicket on June 4, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    in ur dreams when did the 2 aussie bowlers ever get to 160kph. tell us the games were they did randy. on cricinfo we can check speeds of guys who took wickets with their speeds. cummings i think got to 150 with pattinson at best 143. i can see were finn got to 155kph against india. would be nice to compare.

  • RandyOZ on June 4, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - welcome back mate. @dsig3 makes a good point though. With Finn the only one who can get it over 140kph, how do they need resting? Pattinson and Cummins are up near 160kph so it's no wonder such young guys get injured. Another year under their belt and they'll be deadly in England. I'd love to see Bairstow there, with his weakness against the short ball and Cummins giving him 160kph chin music!

  • MattyP1979 on June 4, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Giong to agree with some comments here about 5 man attack. Prior is the best WK batsman in the world and we have effectivly 3 no.8's in Bresnan, Broad and Swann. What has the no.6 been contributing since Colly's retirement...not a great deal. People say we miss a decent all rounder I say we have three already and Finn isn't Chris Martin either. Let KP/Trott consentrate on batting and bring in Finn (best attack in the world....just a little better)

  • JG2704 on June 4, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    @Henrik Lovén I think Collingwood is a bad example but I've been saying this (among many other reasons) for doing the 5 man bowling attack for some time. Surely we would be getting better intensity out of our bowlers by using them in shorter spells. Even vs India when we did well with the 6/1/4 formation - by and large Morgan and Bopara made little difference and down the order guys like Bres,Broad,Prior etc (who would still be in the side on a 5/1/5) were contributing as musch as batsmen. To be honest I think it's a no go area with England as they seem totally rigid. I mean of all the Sky commentators I've only heard Willis suggest this and not heard anyone ask Flower or Strauss about it.

  • on June 4, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    For once, there is an issue that Mr Dobell has failed to light on - overwork because of poor team balance. Whatever the reason the selectors may have for selecting six specialist batsmen and a batsman-wicketkeeper, it puts a lot of work on the four bowlers. Furthermore, the length of spells asked of them by their captain, and particularly of Anderson who was used in spells of eight overs or more, increases the workload. Also with six-plus-one specialist batsmen, batting ability should not be a selection criterion for the bowlers.You can see how much a player with the abilities of a Botham, Flintoff or Collingwood is missing from the mix, so why did the selectors feel the need to try out yet another batting specialist?

  • segga-express on June 4, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    @bennybow - your figures are misleading as you forget about all the one day cricket being played now compared to Truman's era. In international cricket alone Anderson bowled 2716 balls, this doesn't include any county cricket or warm up games he may have played, let alone net bowling. On the Pietersen issue, I agree that he should be allowed to retire from ODIs and still play T20. Additionally I believe it is conceivable the rest he needs is more of a personal nature than physical. He has a young family and obviously wants to provide the best for them - ergo he plays IPL. But he also wants to spend time with them - ergo giving up the format of cricket he least enjoys and has the most matches per year. I hope, unlikely though it is, the ECB rethink their decision.

  • JG2704 on June 3, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (June 03 2012, 13:14 PM GMT) Just wondering if he is Ricky Ponting in disguise. I remember when Ponting was run out by an England sub and he was not at all happy about it. Paul Allot (who was commentating) said something like "I don't know what he's (Ponting) complaining about. He should just go inside , take his pads off and have a cup of tea" as RP was walking back through the crowd to the pavillion. The only thing which would have made it better was if Ponting and the live crowd heard it. I reckon he's have combust

  • JG2704 on June 3, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    @HadleeCrowe on (June 03 2012, 15:01 PM GMT - sorry don't know what luxury you're referring to

  • bestbuddy on June 3, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    @bennybow: I do not think it is the amount of cricket so much as the constant nature of cricket that is causing the fatigue. We all know players used to play far more cricket during the summer...but they also used to get far more rest between seasons and tours. They also operated at a consistently lower intensity before professional cricket was introduced, with far less net and fitness training. Someone like Anderson may "only" have played 7 tests this season, but he would probably have spent two thirds of the rest of the year in training and the gym. Physically he may be doing fine, but mentally people need a break, no matter what their chosen career

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 3, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    @bennybow- Interesting!!

  • JG2704 on June 3, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (June 03 2012, 13:45 PM GMT) I know you love your stats but at least get the stats right. He (Anderson) has played every test in UAE/SL and Eng this year. That makes it 7 tests (3.5 x the number you quoted). Dhoni does not put his body through the rigours of a fast bowler

  • HadleeCrowe on June 3, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    stiill think other test playing nations should get the luxury england does

  • hhillbumper on June 3, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Get Finn and Onions in the team for a run out,

  • JG2704 on June 3, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    back to KP - the more I think about it , the more I think the lack of support re Nick Knight was a big part of his decision. As was quoted when in Pakistan KP had no issue with playing all forms of the game. 4 tests later and with a long break inbetween the 1st 2 and the 2nd 2 and he suddenly thinks the workload is too much? I still think ECB should think about reducing ODI/T20 games for players who play all 3 formats , but if KP's decision is nothing to do with the Knight debacle then I think he is being extremely thoughtless with his timing - just coming up to the T20 WC

  • rahulcricket007 on June 3, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    are you kidding me ? for what reason he needs rest . he didn't play in the odi series in india then he played a international match 3 months later in january in uae ,after which he is now playing in may , nearly 3 mon ths rest again . only played 2 matches & he needs rest . if this is the criteria of rest then i don't know how much rest people like dhoni needs .

  • bennybow on June 3, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    As a rough comparison First Class figures for

    Anderson in 2011: 1918 balls 33 wickets @ 27.51 Fred Trueman 50 years earlier:7081 balls 155 wickets @ 19.35

  • jmcilhinney on June 3, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (June 03 2012, 10:06 AM GMT), uhoh! A new pet whinge hey Randy? If you have to stoop to whining about substitute fieldsmen then I think that we can be fairly sure that England are doing something right. If they weren't playing good cricket then I'd imagine you could actually criticise the cricket. As for resting fast bowlers, I'm guessing Australia would do it too if they could actually get more than one game out of them at a time. Pattinson and Cummins are indeed exciting... for the medical staff, who must be making a fortune treating their various stress-related injuries. It's a shame that they'll probably both have to watch the next Ashes lying down. Maybe they can play Pattinson in the first game, Cummins in the second and Harris in the third, then they'll have a couple of weeks to convalesce before they each play an ODI.

  • landl47 on June 3, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    @RandyOz: whereas Ryan Harris, Pattinson and Cummins are models of fitness and durability?

  • yorkshirematt on June 3, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    "It's hard to believe that English players need resting. They are never on the ground! Don't think i've seen a game with England where a substitute fielder hasnt been used." Ricky is that you?

  • dsig3 on June 3, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Why does he need a rest? Bowls at 120km/hr and fields at slip all day.

  • RandyOZ on June 3, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    It's hard to believe that English players need resting. They are never on the ground! Don't think i've seen a game with England where a substitute fielder hasnt been used.

  • landl47 on June 3, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    There's a huge difference between the physical effort required to bat and field and that required to run in 120 times a day and bowl fast. England's 4-bowler rotation means that each bowler must carry a heavy load. The batsmen have no comparable physical stress. I have no problem resting bowlers to keep them fresh, especially when the replacements are of such high quality. I'd rather they rested during the ODIs than during tests, but it's logical to rest a player when the result of a series has already been determined. Besides, Finn, in particular, needs the experience. A 31-year old batsman saying he is 'retiring' from one format of the game, on the other hand, is playing the fool. Pietersen has another 4 years at least before it becomes an issue- look at Ponting, Kallis and Tendulkar; all playing until they are well over 35 and, with due respect to Pietersen, all better players than him. Whatever his motivation, physical exhaustion played no part in it.

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 2, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    After a rest of 4 months before the UAE tour when England got hammered by Pak, it was said that the gap was too long. They then had a break between tours,and then played 2 Tests in SL one of which Broad missed. Then they were given a break up to 6 May or something and had to play only 2 championship matches before the 2 tests. Neither actually looked cooked for either. Then one commentator started saying he thought Anderson was tired which got the ball rolling till now it is an unstoppable force demanding almost that they be rested. My problem is that they cannot be both overworked and underworked Which is it? Also i do not think that commentators should start bandwagons rolling like this as they tend to get out of control A year ago Nasser was calling Broad the Enforcer and enforcing his view at every possible moment. The result was the biggest heap of rubbish imaginable being bowled- long hops by the dozen.Then there was Knight vs KP, and lastly this rotation idea...who needs it?

  • JG2704 on June 2, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    I'm guessing alot is about keeping the intensity levels up as well as the fitness levels. My memory might be failing me here but I seem to remember in the 80s , many county players would play 2 x 3 day games plus a JPL game on Sunday , not to mention the travelling.And in those games the England players would play for their counties most of the time when they weren't playing for England. These days , by and large England players play very very few games for their county sides so I'm just wondering why it's such a punishing schedule. It might just be me but it seems that yesteryear's player were playing more cricket? Anyway , if England can reduce the risk of burnout or injury by resting players then I'm not so much against it. We all remember how Jimmy Anderson was after Ashes 2010/11 during the following ODI series ans ODI wc so if we can reduce the chances of that happening again then go for it. In Finn and Onions , it's not like we're dropping in quality either

  • TimelessTests on June 2, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Anderson and Broad being rested and replaced with Finn and Onions is perfectly sensible for this dead rubber. England are hardly now playing poor quality bowlers. And the decision has come from the management. KP on the other hand wanted to impose his schedule on the selectors. There is a world of difference.

  • nurdleoffpads on June 2, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    I agree with almost all of your observations, good to see some sense when it comes to writing about Pietersen! I particularly liked the line "But just because Pietersen is not wildly popular does not make him wrong" - absolutely. I think it's a shame that so many want to dig the boot into KP, especially those who rejoiced when he came onto the scene and lauded him as such a breath of fresh air.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 2, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    I don't believe 'rest' was the biggest reason for Pietersen's recent decision. As another article suggests, the ICC and ECB are VERY unlikely to leave gaps in international schedules for the likes of the IPL. Footballers get paid crazy money; ICC/ECB, I'm afraid there's nothing else for it but to follow a similar path...

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  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 2, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    I don't believe 'rest' was the biggest reason for Pietersen's recent decision. As another article suggests, the ICC and ECB are VERY unlikely to leave gaps in international schedules for the likes of the IPL. Footballers get paid crazy money; ICC/ECB, I'm afraid there's nothing else for it but to follow a similar path...

  • nurdleoffpads on June 2, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    I agree with almost all of your observations, good to see some sense when it comes to writing about Pietersen! I particularly liked the line "But just because Pietersen is not wildly popular does not make him wrong" - absolutely. I think it's a shame that so many want to dig the boot into KP, especially those who rejoiced when he came onto the scene and lauded him as such a breath of fresh air.

  • TimelessTests on June 2, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Anderson and Broad being rested and replaced with Finn and Onions is perfectly sensible for this dead rubber. England are hardly now playing poor quality bowlers. And the decision has come from the management. KP on the other hand wanted to impose his schedule on the selectors. There is a world of difference.

  • JG2704 on June 2, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    I'm guessing alot is about keeping the intensity levels up as well as the fitness levels. My memory might be failing me here but I seem to remember in the 80s , many county players would play 2 x 3 day games plus a JPL game on Sunday , not to mention the travelling.And in those games the England players would play for their counties most of the time when they weren't playing for England. These days , by and large England players play very very few games for their county sides so I'm just wondering why it's such a punishing schedule. It might just be me but it seems that yesteryear's player were playing more cricket? Anyway , if England can reduce the risk of burnout or injury by resting players then I'm not so much against it. We all remember how Jimmy Anderson was after Ashes 2010/11 during the following ODI series ans ODI wc so if we can reduce the chances of that happening again then go for it. In Finn and Onions , it's not like we're dropping in quality either

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 2, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    After a rest of 4 months before the UAE tour when England got hammered by Pak, it was said that the gap was too long. They then had a break between tours,and then played 2 Tests in SL one of which Broad missed. Then they were given a break up to 6 May or something and had to play only 2 championship matches before the 2 tests. Neither actually looked cooked for either. Then one commentator started saying he thought Anderson was tired which got the ball rolling till now it is an unstoppable force demanding almost that they be rested. My problem is that they cannot be both overworked and underworked Which is it? Also i do not think that commentators should start bandwagons rolling like this as they tend to get out of control A year ago Nasser was calling Broad the Enforcer and enforcing his view at every possible moment. The result was the biggest heap of rubbish imaginable being bowled- long hops by the dozen.Then there was Knight vs KP, and lastly this rotation idea...who needs it?

  • landl47 on June 3, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    There's a huge difference between the physical effort required to bat and field and that required to run in 120 times a day and bowl fast. England's 4-bowler rotation means that each bowler must carry a heavy load. The batsmen have no comparable physical stress. I have no problem resting bowlers to keep them fresh, especially when the replacements are of such high quality. I'd rather they rested during the ODIs than during tests, but it's logical to rest a player when the result of a series has already been determined. Besides, Finn, in particular, needs the experience. A 31-year old batsman saying he is 'retiring' from one format of the game, on the other hand, is playing the fool. Pietersen has another 4 years at least before it becomes an issue- look at Ponting, Kallis and Tendulkar; all playing until they are well over 35 and, with due respect to Pietersen, all better players than him. Whatever his motivation, physical exhaustion played no part in it.

  • RandyOZ on June 3, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    It's hard to believe that English players need resting. They are never on the ground! Don't think i've seen a game with England where a substitute fielder hasnt been used.

  • dsig3 on June 3, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Why does he need a rest? Bowls at 120km/hr and fields at slip all day.

  • yorkshirematt on June 3, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    "It's hard to believe that English players need resting. They are never on the ground! Don't think i've seen a game with England where a substitute fielder hasnt been used." Ricky is that you?

  • landl47 on June 3, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    @RandyOz: whereas Ryan Harris, Pattinson and Cummins are models of fitness and durability?