The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is set to rest a few of its premier players from the first – and even the second – Test match against New Zealand owing to the bio-bubble fatigue.
England will host the Kiwis for a 2-Test series starting from June 2nd at Lord’s; the second Test is slated for June 10th at Edgbaston before Kane Williamson’s side take on India in the final of the ICC World Test Championship from June 18th in Southampton.
However, it is reported that Joe Root will not have all the players at his disposal for selection – as has been the case in England’s last couple of Test series against Sri Lanka and India where plenty of first-choice players were rested in accordance with their rest and rotate policy owing to the busy schedule, and the mental and physical toll due to the bio-bubble.
A report in NZ Herald says that the likes of Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow, and Moeen Ali wouldn’t be available for selection in the first Test match. These players are currently in quarantine after returning from India following the suspension of the IPL 2021 last week.
Earlier, Ashley Giles, the managing director of England men’s cricket, had hinted that the New Zealand Test series will be used to look at “some new faces” as they are in no hurry to rush the players returning from the IPL into Test cricket.
“What we do know and what’s not going to change is that given the weight of cricket, given the Ashes series, and we don’t know what conditions that’s going to be played in with regard to a Covid environment, we are going to need a bigger group of players. We may also choose against New Zealand to look at some new faces,” Ashley Giles was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“All these guys are currently in quarantine and have had a number of spells in quarantine and bubbles in this last period. Some of it’s their choice, I get that. We need to look after them, with the amount of cricket they’ve got coming up. We’re not going to rush or force them back into cricket,” the former spinner further explained.
England Coach Chris Silverwood to miss ODI series vs Sri Lanka and Pakistan
After the players, it would be the turn of the England coach, Chris Silverwood, to be rested from the bubble. He will take time off from the home ODI series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Assistant coaches, Paul Collingwood and Graham Thorpe will take the responsibility in Silverwood’s absence.
“It is important we keep our personnel as fresh as possible. It’s not fair on the players if I am operating at less than 100 percent and it is not fair on myself either. I won’t be providing the level of service that I need,” Chris Silverwood said.
“You saw during the winter what we tried to do that with our players to the best of our ability. It’s equally as important we do that with the staff. It’s important we look after each other,” the England coach added.
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