Flower warns of rotation likelihood
England's coach, Andy Flower, believes that some of England's key players will have to be rested during the forthcoming home series against Bangladesh, Pakistan and Australia, in order to make sure they are in peak condition come the Ashes and the World Cup this winter.
Speaking in the aftermath of England's triumphant World Twenty20 campaign in the Caribbean, Flower emphasised the need to keep bodies and minds fresh in the course of a hectic schedule, and warned that key performers such as Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood and Graeme Swann - who are integral to all three forms of the game - are those most at risk of burn-out.
"We have a very busy 12 months ahead of us and we are going to have to rest players at various times," England Flower told reporters at Gatwick on Monday. "In certain situations it is possible that we will have to rest some players either for emotional reasons such as stress, and sometimes it will be for strength and conditioning reasons. With our schedule it will be hard to fit enough strength and conditioning in."
The issue of squad rotation comes into sharp focus this week with the return to action of the Test and 50-overs captain, Andrew Strauss. He has been resting since the end of the South Africa series in January, having been replaced by Alastair Cook for the recent tour of Bangladesh, but is set to lead the side at Lord's next week for the first Test of the summer, against Bangladesh.
Collingwood, who has become the first England captain to lift an ICC trophy in 35 years of trying, says that he has no wish to reclaim the job that he held briefly at 50-over level in 2008, and is ready and willing to return to the ranks when Strauss returns to the fray.
"Andrew Strauss is obviously our captain in the one-day format and in the Test format," said Collingwood. "He's a fantastic leader, and a lot of this kind of success we've had over the last few weeks can go down to a lot of the values he and Andy Flower have installed in us over the past year. The team ethic has certainly helped the team gel together and become a strong unit."
"The players are desperate to continue this kind of form and this brand of cricket and hopefully that will take us on to win a lot of silverware in the future," he added. "The brand of cricket that we played in the Twenty20 is something we have to keep trying to improve. It has been successful in this tournament but we have to adapt it to different conditions now.
"We have a World Cup coming up now on the subcontinent and so I'm pretty certain that Strauss and Flower will want us to continue with that same brand of cricket. It's only another 30 overs on top of what we have been playing in the last few weeks so I'm sure that if we can go out with the same mentality we will go out and scare a lot of sides with the way we play."