England news June 26, 2014

England prescribe rest to jaded squad

73

Play 02:02
Prior encouraged by England debutants

England have decided that rest will be the best cure for the team that slipped to their first series defeat on home soil against Sri Lanka. 10 of the 11 that played in the series are to miss the next round of County Championship games starting on Sunday, as well as NatWest T20 Blast games that precede them.

There is an irony in the only exception to the decision. Moeen Ali, who batted throughout the final day to take England within two balls of saving the Test and the series, will play in Worcestershire's Championship match against Glamorgan. While there will be few concerns about his batting, the England selectors will be keen to see him gain some more bowling time with the red ball after Moeen admitted in Leeds that he felt more confident delivering his doosra with the white ball.

Chris Woakes, who was also in the England squad for the Sri Lanka series but did not play, is free to play both in Warwickshire's T20 and Championship side.

All those not involved in matches will attend a two-day training camp in Loughborough, with the England squad for the first Test of the Investec series against India to be named in the middle of the week.

While the decision to rest the seam bowlers, in particular, is not a surprise, the decision to rest wicketkeeper Matt Prior is more perplexing. Prior endured a poor game with the gloves at Headingley and, having struggled with injury in the early stages of the season, had only kept in one first-class game before the Test series. As well as dropping a couple of chances, Prior also conceded 31 byes in the two-Test series.

England's inconsistent performance against Sri Lanka might have convinced the team management that the players required more time in the middle. But, perhaps with one eye to the future schedule - the entire five-Test series against India takes place in a six-week window - it has instead been concluded that rest may be of more benefit.

It was alarming to note how jaded some England players appeared towards the end of the second Test. James Anderson, despite an otherwise exemplary series, experienced one of his worst days in several years on the fourth day at Headingley, while Stuart Broad has a long-standing knee problem that limited him to two first-class games ahead of the series and appeared to be hampering him at times during it. Chris Jordan, so impressive in the limited-overs series and in early-season for Sussex, also appeared to have lost just a bit of nip.

It was also noticeable that those men - Joe Root and Prior, in particular - exposed to the pace and hostility of Mitchell Johnson in Australia seemed least able to cope with the pace of the Sri Lankan seamer Dhammika Prasad. England's problems may well stem more from feeling mentally jaded than physically.

Indeed, in years to come, the burn out of Jonathan Trott, the premature retirement of Graeme Swann, even the struggles of Alastair Cook and Steven Finn, may be seen as a reflection of a schedule that simply asks too much - physically but most of all mentally - of the best players. Nearly 300 days a year in hotels and, just as importantly, in the somewhat intense England environment, does little to retain the joy and freshness that is required to excel at the top level in sport.

Perhaps it is more surprising that the players have been withdrawn from Friday night's T20 programme. Not only might the relative freedom of a white-ball innings have freed up the likes of Cook to recover some form but, only a few weeks ago, the ECB re-launched the competition with assurances that England players would be made available more often. Even with the county game fighting for relevance and financial viability, it seems it will receive little help from the England camp.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SoyQuearns on June 27, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    As a huge critic of England and their admin I think this is a great idea.

    The last thing a mentally jaded and fatigued side needs, after yet another concerning series loss, is to jump straight back into the treadmill of cricket.

    I hope behind closed doors the English camp is working on chemistry and cohesion. They need to build a culture and community whereby each member of the squad feels equally important, vital to the cause and knows their clearly defined role in the side as a player and a man.

    Let the lactic acid drain away, have a couple of reflective drinks together as a side and reclaim the flame of desire. England look sapped, drained and devastated, they need to shake this off before it becomes a culture all of its own.

  • social_monster09 on June 29, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    First of all end the dispute with Pieterson & bring him back in team w/o a doubt he was the best player in English side for a long time, he played many memorable Inns in past. Robson is good Australian flavour is showing in his batting, Root, Moin Ali all are ok. Most lethal weapons in England team are Bell, Anderson & Broad & may be cook if he some how regain his form back. During the Ashes in England Poms are the super favourite against mighty Aussies & now they lost to SL in home conditions & now 60% people predict Indian team as favourite how the time changes. All in all this is not a bad squad to play against Indians they only need 1 or 2 wins to bring back derailed train on track.

  • on June 29, 2014, 1:27 GMT

    Yes, unfortunate about the SL series, it ideally should have been a 0-0 draw, and test cricket won. The series was unusually emotionally charged for England, who ended up emotionally charging the SL players. All in all, both sides should say it was good cricket overall, and let what happened on the field stay on the field.

    Anyways, please leave Cook alone. A captain should not be blamed when the whole team looks flat. Good Luck with India.

  • Cricsnake on June 28, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    A good move. They need rest and comeback strongly. This time India will not be easy as 2011 & tough time for England. But I hope England would comeback strongly & it will be a thrilling series. England must hire Fletcher as coach as they did with Paul Farbace just before the Sri Lanka series.

  • on June 28, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    I think its good for them to have a rest from on field, despite priors problem with the glov or short ball, roots problem with the fast ball. The off field training should help them better. Especially to build confidence. If england get hammered by indians, it should be largely a coaching problem.

  • bootlicker on June 28, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    This is the ideal series ENG can show their capabilities and the form because they have already identified their problems and weaknesses against spin bowling and seam bowling. If they can't negotiate well and win test series and the ODI series against IND, there will be a serious threat to ENG cricket and management as a whole. The simple reason is IND is not as strong as SL in any form of cricket at this moment. Especially ENG should know how to use their home conditions well, which SL used better than ENG. SL is a tougher opponent than IND where ever you play against these two teams because of their variety and shrewdness of the top brass especially Mahela. If ENG cannot post wins in first two tests against IND it will be very difficult later on.

  • stumpedlloyd on June 28, 2014, 2:04 GMT

    Firstly, don't blame the struggles of Steven Finn on playing too much cricket. His form and confidence got shot because the English coaches decided to muck about with his bowling action and then pretty much made it clear he wasn't ready for test cricket. As for the others, seriously, you play a couple of tests and a few ODIs and that's too much cricket? How exactly are these guys supposed to find form? What's Prior going to do? Play EA Sports Cricket to get back to learning how to keep wicket, not drop catches and not allow 31 byes?! Why's he even in the squad? Surely, Jos Buttler would've done no worse than Prior in this series. England are very lucky that it's India they're facing, India who have a habit of playing way below their talent and expectations overseas. It would have been something to see Steyn, Morkel and Co. bowling at this English side now.

  • SpaMaster on June 27, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    What were they doing before this two-Test series?

  • TripleCenturian on June 27, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Codswallop. Tired and jaded? Prior has played about 2 county games this summer as has Broad as they have rested and recovered from knocks and niggles. Anderson has had his workload managed by England carefully. Plunkett, Ballance, Robson and Jordan would happily go back and play county cricket for the next week instead of hanging around with the tired and jaded old brigade picking up their negativity. if Anderson had survived that last over and we had drawn I bet the players would have been euphoric and celebrated as if they had won and then gone to play for their counties. Instead, they need to close ranks and come together to share their disappointment collectively in the England camp that causes all their problems. Give them a break, let them play some cricket to enjoy a few days and then prepare for the first test.

  • Paul_Somerset on June 27, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    It looks the 10 good old boys have already been selected for the First Test vs India, with Moeen Ali being dropped.

  • SoyQuearns on June 27, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    As a huge critic of England and their admin I think this is a great idea.

    The last thing a mentally jaded and fatigued side needs, after yet another concerning series loss, is to jump straight back into the treadmill of cricket.

    I hope behind closed doors the English camp is working on chemistry and cohesion. They need to build a culture and community whereby each member of the squad feels equally important, vital to the cause and knows their clearly defined role in the side as a player and a man.

    Let the lactic acid drain away, have a couple of reflective drinks together as a side and reclaim the flame of desire. England look sapped, drained and devastated, they need to shake this off before it becomes a culture all of its own.

  • social_monster09 on June 29, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    First of all end the dispute with Pieterson & bring him back in team w/o a doubt he was the best player in English side for a long time, he played many memorable Inns in past. Robson is good Australian flavour is showing in his batting, Root, Moin Ali all are ok. Most lethal weapons in England team are Bell, Anderson & Broad & may be cook if he some how regain his form back. During the Ashes in England Poms are the super favourite against mighty Aussies & now they lost to SL in home conditions & now 60% people predict Indian team as favourite how the time changes. All in all this is not a bad squad to play against Indians they only need 1 or 2 wins to bring back derailed train on track.

  • on June 29, 2014, 1:27 GMT

    Yes, unfortunate about the SL series, it ideally should have been a 0-0 draw, and test cricket won. The series was unusually emotionally charged for England, who ended up emotionally charging the SL players. All in all, both sides should say it was good cricket overall, and let what happened on the field stay on the field.

    Anyways, please leave Cook alone. A captain should not be blamed when the whole team looks flat. Good Luck with India.

  • Cricsnake on June 28, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    A good move. They need rest and comeback strongly. This time India will not be easy as 2011 & tough time for England. But I hope England would comeback strongly & it will be a thrilling series. England must hire Fletcher as coach as they did with Paul Farbace just before the Sri Lanka series.

  • on June 28, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    I think its good for them to have a rest from on field, despite priors problem with the glov or short ball, roots problem with the fast ball. The off field training should help them better. Especially to build confidence. If england get hammered by indians, it should be largely a coaching problem.

  • bootlicker on June 28, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    This is the ideal series ENG can show their capabilities and the form because they have already identified their problems and weaknesses against spin bowling and seam bowling. If they can't negotiate well and win test series and the ODI series against IND, there will be a serious threat to ENG cricket and management as a whole. The simple reason is IND is not as strong as SL in any form of cricket at this moment. Especially ENG should know how to use their home conditions well, which SL used better than ENG. SL is a tougher opponent than IND where ever you play against these two teams because of their variety and shrewdness of the top brass especially Mahela. If ENG cannot post wins in first two tests against IND it will be very difficult later on.

  • stumpedlloyd on June 28, 2014, 2:04 GMT

    Firstly, don't blame the struggles of Steven Finn on playing too much cricket. His form and confidence got shot because the English coaches decided to muck about with his bowling action and then pretty much made it clear he wasn't ready for test cricket. As for the others, seriously, you play a couple of tests and a few ODIs and that's too much cricket? How exactly are these guys supposed to find form? What's Prior going to do? Play EA Sports Cricket to get back to learning how to keep wicket, not drop catches and not allow 31 byes?! Why's he even in the squad? Surely, Jos Buttler would've done no worse than Prior in this series. England are very lucky that it's India they're facing, India who have a habit of playing way below their talent and expectations overseas. It would have been something to see Steyn, Morkel and Co. bowling at this English side now.

  • SpaMaster on June 27, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    What were they doing before this two-Test series?

  • TripleCenturian on June 27, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Codswallop. Tired and jaded? Prior has played about 2 county games this summer as has Broad as they have rested and recovered from knocks and niggles. Anderson has had his workload managed by England carefully. Plunkett, Ballance, Robson and Jordan would happily go back and play county cricket for the next week instead of hanging around with the tired and jaded old brigade picking up their negativity. if Anderson had survived that last over and we had drawn I bet the players would have been euphoric and celebrated as if they had won and then gone to play for their counties. Instead, they need to close ranks and come together to share their disappointment collectively in the England camp that causes all their problems. Give them a break, let them play some cricket to enjoy a few days and then prepare for the first test.

  • Paul_Somerset on June 27, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    It looks the 10 good old boys have already been selected for the First Test vs India, with Moeen Ali being dropped.

  • on June 27, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    Oh! Kevin all is forgiven. Please come

  • on June 27, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    Why not England hire Marvan as coach just as they did with Paul Farbace just before the Sri Lanka series.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on June 27, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    Great idea, take a team out of form away from competitive cricket so they can magically pluck form from thin air. How jaded can professional cricketers be after a few one day matches and 2 tests?

  • yorkshirematt on June 27, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    I may be wrong but were the touring Indians not caught cold last time they toured having played very little meaningful cricket beforehand? Shoe on the other foot this time then and a similar result, this time to India

  • md111 on June 27, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Any young wicketkeepers just getting into the county scene may just want to concentrate on their batting as Prior seems untouchable at the moment. Certainly some players need rest but if Englad persist with Prior he needs more games. His keeping was ordinary at best and only saved a little bit by the runs he got

  • on June 27, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    @Steve48, I agree on Moeen. It seems almost when you are picked as an allrounder, that doing well with the bat is "all very well and good", but if you don't at the same time take wickets, then the pressure falls onto your bowling instead. Jimmy Neesham is probably in the same situation for NZ, despite averaging 70 odd with the bat to date! Really, if you are playing in the top six it needs to be almost entirely about batting I'd have thought, particularly when your captain doesn't bowl you as much as he might.

  • cric1965 on June 27, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    England should select balanced side for the serious. They have enough good players. But selectors do not know how to select the best team base on current performance. who can fill the KP,s shoes. Jordan should be dropped and include one spinner.

  • Yevghenny on June 27, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    blatant PR exercise - "oh look they're just all so very tired"

  • ruester on June 27, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    I agree with resting our top players but for the life of me I can't understand why Prior is not playing. Let's not forget he was dropped in Australia for his poor performances, then injured at the start of the summer and had a horrendous test series against Sri Lanka. His actual keeping was the worst I have ever seen from him. I few more games under his belt would help him gain confidence and his form back. Sitting on his backside or having nets won't really do it. England can't just pick Prior on his past performances, Cook is untouchable as captain but Prior needs to play well to remain in the side. Jos Butler and Jonny Bairstow can't be a worse bet than Prior after the last performance.

  • steve48 on June 27, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    I am terrified that Mo is auditioning as a bowler, as some posts here tend to think! If the selectors really think he can only play as an all rounder, but Robson and Ballance are in as specialist batsmen, well I give up. Nothing against either of those players by the way, but Mo is streets ahead in class, time, and from that knock, temperament. I know Moores said one innings is not selection criteria, and I agree in normal circumstances, but for a lad in his second test, being asked to play an unfamiliar role for his team and feeling under pressure for his place, his timing, serenity and focus was unbelievable, and showed so much potential AS A BATSMAN, it should be a big bonus he can bowl, not selection criteria!

  • wrenx on June 27, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Same old, same old. "It's the schedule, it's the schedule." Other teams have similar or harder demands placed on them (and far more travel and touring than England do.) Yet it's apparently only a complaint for the English. Hardly surprising, though

  • venbas on June 27, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Maybe England thinks that their players just need to wake up on the morning of Test match and turn up at the Ground...job done...hopefully India can prove them wrong...but somehow I keep getting images of whitewash only...!!!

  • steve48 on June 27, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    I just wonder whether our players are training correctly, strange I know, given our entourage of experts. What I am getting at is maybe there is too much non cricket specific training going on for guys like Anderson and Broad? Certainly Broad looks in need of really careful handling from now on. They really didn't have THAT much bowling to do in these two tests to look so spent after a reasonable post Ashes break. As to post Mitch scarring, I just think that for a long time bowlers had given up on pace and bounce, batsmen felt safe in all their equipment and have become increasingly static and upright at the crease. The rebirth of quick bowling into the ribs/armpit, which the umpires cannot really prevent, has found many players technically all at sea. Any bowler of height and pace can see this and are getting on the bandwagon, on all but the slowest tracks.

  • The-love on June 27, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    @SL_Fans -> I understand that you don't want India to win.I will agree to your statement like SL is better team than India too.But How can you say that you are the best side from Asia.You don't consider India competitive,I don't have issue with that but why don't you consider even Pakistan.

  • ChewtonMendip on June 27, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Just one more kick in the teeth for domestic cricket from the ECB.

  • steve48 on June 27, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Good points, dunger bob. With all our quicks bar Jimmy decent batsmen, just pick a spinner able to tie up an end, then bowl into the footmarks. Monty, despite disciplinary problems, is our best bet. Pick him, tell him he is in for the series, maybe he will sort himself out!

  • ooper_cut on June 27, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    Anyone thinking India will take advantage of this situation has to just wind back the clock to 2011 down under. Aussies had just lost to NZ very badly and were down in the dumps. We had Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and were licking our lips for that elusive series win in Aus. Sadly we got zapped 4-0 by the Aussies.

    One interesting point in the Ind-Eng series will be Which captain is going to be less defensive, sure both are not going to be offensive by any stretch of imagination. There will be a million moments in these 5 matches that both captains will refuse to take by the scruff of the neck and win it. It's going to be frustrating.

  • southstoke49 on June 27, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    A culmination of the ODI series & being used in over long spells seems to have already jaded Anderson for the summer. Why do we never learn.? The reason we lost so badly -apart from the Australian resurgence-is that we flogged our players too much. For long series or back to back tests there should be a plan or at least some squad rotation to make sure players stay fresh. It would be easier at the moment as many of the squad have ready replacements Jordan/Stokes for example and would also be a good gauge of the best 11 available. It seems that the 'new era' is continuing much in the same way a the decline of the last one but devoid of any real characters like Swann or KP.

  • Nutcutlet on June 27, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    Saeed Ajmal is the #1 spinner at Worcester. Contrary to what the ECB understands, the County Championship is a competitive affair, not a series of glorified practice matches. Therefore, it well may be that Ali only gets a handful of overs from Daryl Mitchell and possibly none at all as Saeed will do the majority of the spin bowling. Ali will bowl only when the skipper throws him the ball. I would have thought that Ali above all other batsmen, had earned a rest; it's the beginning of Ramadan on Sunday too!

  • dunger.bob on June 27, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    It could take a while for England to bounce back. Some runs from the captain would certainly help their cause. It'll make getting a decent total all that much easier and take the pressure off the new guys a touch. Most of all though, it should make Cook feel better about himself and that may help his captaincy.

    When Warne retired there were plenty of people saying we should go with a 4 man pace attack but by and large we never did. Our selectors were of the opinion that having an average spinner is better than no spinner at all. I think they were right. Jordan didn't take any wickets and looks a bit dodgy in the cordon. .. Surely there's a spinner somewhere in England who's good enough to do a job. He doesn't have to take a bagful, just keep them quiet if he can. He's mainly there to give the quicks a rest but the odd scalp here and there is always on the cards as long as he's at least half decent.

  • on June 27, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Ahhh Moen Ali the English establishment is going to drop you for the next test. That is why you are playing in county cricket to audition for a place in the side..

  • on June 27, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @Arun Bose. when was the last time India won a series in Australia? Yeah thought so! Australia won the series in India 2004 very very easily ha ha. If India can't win a series in NZ then you have no chance in England as what's changed from the Indian team from NZ to now, as looks like the same team to me?

  • on June 27, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    Its not mental fatigue, its mental fraility. Look at MSD and Indian Team. England team has had a lot of rest and has a lot less pressure on and off the field. Its just that when a feeling sets in "I am tired" and everyone around kind of tags to that feeling, you really feel tired. England has to come out of this self pity mode if they have to do better in any Team sport.

  • ramz30380 on June 27, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    @Herath-UK - There is a difference, SL has been winning but Eng has been losing! The mental make-up of a team thts been losing consistently isnt very good. And man.... have a heart, already these guys are playing 7 tests in 10 weeks, u want to make tht 8?! Now way they wud have! In all honesty, Eng never wud've thought tht SL will beat them black and blue! Now tht it has happened, they are all the more stressed!

    @Jarrad Nairne - Spot On mate!

  • Worldcricketlover on June 27, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    SL fans chill. We indian are happy with your success. But without India your player can not earn bread and butter. Malinga retired from test cricket to play in IPL. May be if you dislodged him from captainship he will fully retired from International cricket to play in IPL. Can you show me one country who can stand against us

  • Criketanand on June 27, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    @arunbose. Do you want Numbers and statistics to prove Indian team is not only mediocre it is worse than that - it is poor in cricket. Lost 4-0 to England in England last time. Lost 4-0 to Australia in Australia. Then lost 2-1 to England in India. Lost 1-0 to SA in SA . Lost 1-0 to NZ in NZ. Do we need anymore stats

  • on June 27, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    England do have a very testing schedule, another five tests in seven weeks to come now actually looks ridiculous after the way the Sri Lankan series ended. Yes the West Indies once played with four quicks, but they were not playing this much cricket. I can actually see Anderson retiring at the end of the series, burnt out and had enough of the intensive schedule. They are being worked like machines, but listen up schedulers, you can't buy a fast bowler a new knee or back. Seven tests in ten weeks is too much. I was critical of Anderson and Broad during the first test for a lack of intensity but with this schedule it is just not possible to stay at 100%.

  • on June 27, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    England squad is jaded. After facing a (Sri Lankan) county attack in 2 tests ? Wow ! India, you have an opportunity.

  • landl47 on June 27, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    4 of the top 6 batsmen made hundreds in the SL series, Bell made two 50s, Prior one 50. On the whole there wasn't a lot wrong with the batting, apart from one batsman who shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with 'Hook'.

    The bowlers are more of a problem, largely because Cook bowled them for long spells. Anderson was given a 10-ver spell to start the second test and that contributed to his lack of penetration on day 4. Broad doesn't look fully fit and was bowling in the low 80s. That wouldn't have mattered if he'd pitched the ball up and moved it around, but he bowled short and straight, which even Herath could play. Jordan was used as a stock bowler instead of a strike bowler and wasn't threatening. Only Plunkett was able to bowl flat out and he was the most successful of the England bowlers in the second test. Lesson learned, I hope.

    If bowling in one county game is going to turn Moeen from a useful second-stringer into a matchwinner, then my name's Graeme Swann.

  • on June 27, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    @Arun Bose..chill...Indian team is not mediocre as long as they are playing on their own soil..the moment they leave Asia..they don't seem like champions..facts are losing to England Australia south Africa in their home countries...and it's not usually losing...it's more of a white wash. check the touring history of Dhoni's champion side.

  • on June 27, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Im sorry but you can't blame the schedule or whatever for player burnout. Every team in the world has to travel and play around the world and if burnout was such a factor then we would have so many more "early" retirements and dramatic form slumps etc. The fact of the matter is that we dont see that across the rest of the test playing nations.

  • Herath-UK on June 27, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Sri Lanka has been on the road since about January having series in UAE,BD, Asia Cup & T20 prior to UK. In that light how come English players become jaded overnight. They were an enthusiastic bunch rearing to go at Sri Lanka prior to this series. It shows what mental agony they received by the loss which is also their own making;had there been a third Test they could have levelled the series. ECB cut one Test from SL to give five Tests to india for financial reasons. This again shows cricket suffers when the ECB's only concern becomes finance.

  • on June 27, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    @PrasPunter- You don't have any cricketing knowledge whatsoever.. You're just a couch pundit.. This mediocre side handed Australia their worst series defeat in over 40 years when they last toured India by 4-0.. Back up your comment with facts otherwise it appears as a lie..

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on June 27, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Good luck England. Have some rest and come back strongly against Indians and win both ODI and Test series.

  • PrasPunter on June 27, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    They played just 2 tests and they are already jaded ?? This average Eng team is determined to make a mediocre indian team look like a world-beating one !!

  • MarinManiac on June 27, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    England's biggest problem. The Lack Of Graeme Swann. Not just his bowling, but his presence in the field and dressing room. The quick-witted, cheerful character who could lift spirits. When he didn't play in NZ in 2012/2013 -- the team struggled. When he couldn't bowl any more and retired -- and wasn't allowed to stay to keep the spirits at least part way up -- the team went into the toilet. And then there was his bowling and slip catching. You could see it every time he was called on to bowl -- the spectators cheered, everyone felt "Here comes Swanny. We'll be OK" -- huge shoes to fill, and until that kind of unofficial leadership, presence, and simple joy of the game returns, jaded or not, England's situation looks dire.

  • on June 27, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    This resting players strategy may well backfire for England as they are already out of form and without much match practice they will struggle again in real match situation.. ECB should have let their players play in the county championship especially Alastair bcz he's horribly out of form, He himself should have taken the initiative and played in some county games to get his confidence back as his form is crucial for England in the top order.. Moeen Ali is not a specialist spinner and he will struggle against the best players of spin bowling.. Yeah, He bats like a pro but England surely needs a specialist spinner.. England mustn't take India lightly as It's not the same aging team of 2011, These players are young and hungry for redemption.. A two day camp isn't enough to get form and confidence back.. They also need to sort out their best XI before the first test and I believe Finn should be a part of it.. He's a fantastic bowler but don't know why he wasn't picked for SL series?

  • on June 27, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    stupid stupid stupid. england's players need proper batting and bowling practice in proper matches, not the chance to put their feet up. the poster who pointed out that the great west indian and australian sides took months off is missing the point - those were successful sides. the england of 2009 and 2010-11 could have done the same, not this disparate mob. does anyone in charge of the england side have the first idea of how to run the proverbial in a brewery? furthermore, this is such a slap in the face for the first-class system - what this move says is that playing county cricket is not the place to hone skills and rediscover form.

  • ramz30380 on June 27, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    Nice title Dobell, Jaded Squad indeed! The only not so jaded man is playing the county games and the rest are resting! Ask about round the year cricket to the Indians! They play every other day and yet no-one is complaining abt it!

    Team environment says it all - no matter ur performance, if the environment is good, the players are in the right frame of mind. Actually Cook, I think "something must be done" here and not elsewhere as u pointed out before the beginning of the 2nd test against SL.

    This can go either way for Eng - players are fresh for the hectic 5 match series against the Indians or they can dig deeper into their shells and get humiliated further. I dont think any other country stresses its players as much as India has and I havent seen an India player bogged down to this.

    The Eng management need to address this issue first. Teach their players not take criticisms to the heart, its part of the game. IGNORE and play ur natural game w/o worrying too much!

  • Kadmin on June 27, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    I agree a rest is vital. However the individuals who had underperformed have to get their straps on. More net times only do good. If you have been licking wounds and doing nothing, it will be a recipe for another disastrous series. Work hard people.

  • rezmata on June 27, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    Gosh these poms are being spoiled and pampered like royalty which they don't deserve. COOK, Prior,Bell, Root, Balance, Robson desperately require time out in the middle. Cris Jordan is a asset to limited over cricket - but not good enough for tests. His ability is kind of the in the middle player. Release him to play the limited overs so hes well prepared for the world cup down under. Invest in Stokes and Woakes.

  • cloudmess on June 27, 2014, 2:52 GMT

    The great WI sides of the 80s and Aussie sides of 00s very often had several months off per year. I'm still not holding my breath over Moores, but this decision shows a trace of lateral thinking not always evident in his coaching style.

  • on June 27, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    So the only player not rested is the one that batted the longest in the last test! And he hardly bowls for Worcs anyway. Good work the ecb

  • __PK on June 27, 2014, 2:08 GMT

    Seriously? After two tests and a handful of ODIs? "Jaded" was the excuse for the Ashes debacle but that was months ago. I read this headline and thought it was a few months old.

  • on June 27, 2014, 2:04 GMT

    They will most probably be resting during the next series too.

  • on June 27, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    honestly ENG didn't do too bad in SL series. In both the test matches the result could have gone either way. Cook,Bell, Anderson and broad are high class players and not too old. everyone has 4-5 more years left in them. So no worries. with the young crop(ballnace,root,ali etc) they are still a formidable unit. they just need to believe in themselves. that all. Actually what happened was in AUS they were beaten by world class mitch and in this series, SL have played some good cricket. But against india ENG has got every chance of winning the 5 test series.

  • JustIPL on June 27, 2014, 0:45 GMT

    Poms main challenge is against indians where they have to continue their domination and they have to use extensive warmup from SL series into india series. While SL proved that they they are the best side from asia, england also came back many times in the short test series. I am sure a break will do a world of good to their confidence and extend positives from SL series.

  • Twinkie on June 26, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    The powers that be are scheduling cricketers and cricket into the ground. The quality of cricket is suffering because of it. So many dropped chances shows that players are asleep on the field. It's an epidemic in world cricket right now that makes the game look sloppy and amateurish.

  • Ms.Cricket on June 26, 2014, 23:52 GMT

    It's when you wonder how impressively KP performed for England day in and day out for 10 years in all forms and what has now come to pass with the regressive thinking of the current bosses at the ECB.

  • Patchmaster on June 26, 2014, 23:35 GMT

    Typical ENG management decision - ALL other countries would have made ALL these ENglish batsmen, apart from maybe Ali, go and play state / county cricket. Instead, they are AGAIN rewarded for their lethargy and poor performance. Graham Gooch should also be given a very very long rest from being an England batting coach - because it just ain't working - the only success was Ali and Balance, both of who haven;t been subjected to Gooch's poor tactics and coaching for very long.

  • on June 26, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    What a joke. No wonder England keep losing. They'll carry on getting what they deserve then.......nothing.

  • TeamSelector on June 26, 2014, 22:48 GMT

    Very surprised they rested everybody else except Moeen. Half of that team needs to out there playing, especially Prior & Cook. Also, why are they persisting with the notion that Ali is their 'main' spinner. No offence to Moeen, but he is NOT a specialist spinner. The guy is a solid #6, who can bowl a bit. Surely England can come up with a specialist spinner for the India series. Am I missing something here ???

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 26, 2014, 22:29 GMT

    Keep the psychologists away and everything will be fine. Besides, England are an average team now and such defeats shouldn't surprise them any more. Keep strong and move on.

  • Dafffid on June 26, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    Can hardly blame Finn's problems on the schedule, he was hardly ever in the side. More likely it was England's cavalier treatment of him that broke his confidence. And as for there being too much cricket, the real issue is the obstinacy with which some teams run four man attacks despite all the evidence that it's ineffective and breaks bowlers. (Unless your four happen to include Warne, McGrath and Lee, or Marshall, Garner and Holding). Maybe if the ICC start properly enforcing over-rates teams will have to start selecting enough bowlers to do the job without injury and exhaustion.

  • JJJake on June 26, 2014, 21:43 GMT

    The Australian camp went through something similar. Things turned around when Boof took over as coach. I think it was Haddin that said "Boof took all the anxiety out of the playing squad ". Made the players relax and have fun, as well as instiling conference.

  • yorkshirematt on June 26, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    Sp they're being 'rewarded' for another failure by getting a fortnight off when surely they'd be better off playing some cricket. The yorkies, batsmen especially, would really benefit by playing for a confident winning side again, away from the toxic atmosphere of the England set up. And why is Moeen exempt from this 'resting' policy?

  • LegSpinBowlr on June 26, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    how surprising that englands players are playing in england and still feeling jaded

  • on June 26, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    Very strange decision by ECB...A guy spends virtually the whole day batting in the most intense of situations,demonstrated excellent patience,class and pedigree in only his second test is the only player to be told to go and play in a county game....While its good to keep in the zone and keep playing when ur on top,it would have made alot more sense if Alaister Cook,or Matt Prior were told to go back to county cricket and get some sort of form back.What is Cook going to learn new in the 2 day Camp what he already does not know?It would be better for him to face some balls in match environment..You know what will happen dont you?Moeen will go back,get 2 low scores,get dropped for India series and we wont see him again in an England shirt again....

  • Herath-UK on June 26, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    The saving grace for England is Indians are usually poorer travellers than Sri Lanka & their bowling unit is much weaker than Sri Lanka. During the last tour when Sri Lanka lost to England 1/0 in damp May June, the Indians came with much hype with but lost 4/0 in that summer. It was just bad luck England had to face a resurgent Sri Lanka this time who came back charging at England stronger after each missile England fired at SL. England did beat india even in india so they will go to the series with much more assurance. Unless the indian team come up with a good show like the Lankans did,I think there is every chance England will do well.

  • on June 26, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    Absolutely moronic. If 'Team England' want to engage the public then the players need to be visible at county level. The best way to prepare for a game of cricket always has been and always will be to play cricket.

  • Aisha_Malik on June 26, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    What a ridiculous decision by the ECB.

    Hopefully Worcestershire won't need Moeen to bowl spin as they already have Saeed Ajmal.

    Ballance and Prior should have been sent to County duty too.

  • Stonner144 on June 26, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Is it just me that thinks this is ridiculous. A fortnight off in the middle of the season after just two tests!! This England team needs to get some reality. Ask any honest working man if they would give up their job on an oil rig, bin man e.t.c to be an england cricketer and I know what the answer would be, yet these are the people asked to fork out £70 to watch this 'jaded' team who have done knack all work so far! The team needs to reconnect with the public and I make no wonder that they can't fill test match grounds. I haven't missed a year since being a young lad, but I am losing the appetite now. They need practice not a rest!!! Are they really going to get tired bowling 4x T20 overs for their county in the next couple of weeks????? The paying public deserves better, and if I hear anybody say that these boys were 'undercooked' when they lose the first test to India................

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 26, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    Meanwhile, the Indians are playing away against Leicestershire and getting very settled/comfortable indeed. Yup, it's going to be a great, but quick, series...

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 26, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    Meanwhile, the Indians are playing away against Leicestershire and getting very settled/comfortable indeed. Yup, it's going to be a great, but quick, series...

  • Stonner144 on June 26, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Is it just me that thinks this is ridiculous. A fortnight off in the middle of the season after just two tests!! This England team needs to get some reality. Ask any honest working man if they would give up their job on an oil rig, bin man e.t.c to be an england cricketer and I know what the answer would be, yet these are the people asked to fork out £70 to watch this 'jaded' team who have done knack all work so far! The team needs to reconnect with the public and I make no wonder that they can't fill test match grounds. I haven't missed a year since being a young lad, but I am losing the appetite now. They need practice not a rest!!! Are they really going to get tired bowling 4x T20 overs for their county in the next couple of weeks????? The paying public deserves better, and if I hear anybody say that these boys were 'undercooked' when they lose the first test to India................

  • Aisha_Malik on June 26, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    What a ridiculous decision by the ECB.

    Hopefully Worcestershire won't need Moeen to bowl spin as they already have Saeed Ajmal.

    Ballance and Prior should have been sent to County duty too.

  • on June 26, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    Absolutely moronic. If 'Team England' want to engage the public then the players need to be visible at county level. The best way to prepare for a game of cricket always has been and always will be to play cricket.

  • Herath-UK on June 26, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    The saving grace for England is Indians are usually poorer travellers than Sri Lanka & their bowling unit is much weaker than Sri Lanka. During the last tour when Sri Lanka lost to England 1/0 in damp May June, the Indians came with much hype with but lost 4/0 in that summer. It was just bad luck England had to face a resurgent Sri Lanka this time who came back charging at England stronger after each missile England fired at SL. England did beat india even in india so they will go to the series with much more assurance. Unless the indian team come up with a good show like the Lankans did,I think there is every chance England will do well.

  • on June 26, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    Very strange decision by ECB...A guy spends virtually the whole day batting in the most intense of situations,demonstrated excellent patience,class and pedigree in only his second test is the only player to be told to go and play in a county game....While its good to keep in the zone and keep playing when ur on top,it would have made alot more sense if Alaister Cook,or Matt Prior were told to go back to county cricket and get some sort of form back.What is Cook going to learn new in the 2 day Camp what he already does not know?It would be better for him to face some balls in match environment..You know what will happen dont you?Moeen will go back,get 2 low scores,get dropped for India series and we wont see him again in an England shirt again....

  • LegSpinBowlr on June 26, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    how surprising that englands players are playing in england and still feeling jaded

  • yorkshirematt on June 26, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    Sp they're being 'rewarded' for another failure by getting a fortnight off when surely they'd be better off playing some cricket. The yorkies, batsmen especially, would really benefit by playing for a confident winning side again, away from the toxic atmosphere of the England set up. And why is Moeen exempt from this 'resting' policy?

  • JJJake on June 26, 2014, 21:43 GMT

    The Australian camp went through something similar. Things turned around when Boof took over as coach. I think it was Haddin that said "Boof took all the anxiety out of the playing squad ". Made the players relax and have fun, as well as instiling conference.

  • Dafffid on June 26, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    Can hardly blame Finn's problems on the schedule, he was hardly ever in the side. More likely it was England's cavalier treatment of him that broke his confidence. And as for there being too much cricket, the real issue is the obstinacy with which some teams run four man attacks despite all the evidence that it's ineffective and breaks bowlers. (Unless your four happen to include Warne, McGrath and Lee, or Marshall, Garner and Holding). Maybe if the ICC start properly enforcing over-rates teams will have to start selecting enough bowlers to do the job without injury and exhaustion.