England head coach Chris Silverwood on Wednesday said cricketers do need to spend some time with their families, and as a result, his side would continue with their rotation policy. England’s squad was named for the third and fourth Test after the result of the second Test, and it was revealed that Moeen Ali will head back home. This is all a part of ECB’s rotation policy. This rotation policy has already seen Jos Buttler going back home after the first Test.
Speaking about Moeen Ali going back home, Silverwood said: “The decision to send Moeen back was ours as was the case with Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow. We are happy with our decision.
“It was a unique situation with Moeen, he spent so much time in isolation, he got COVID in Sri Lanka and he broke into the team just now. Ultimately, we felt it was the right decision for him to go back home.
“He was fine, Joe and I spoke to him yesterday Moeen understands we have his best interests in our hearts and we are trying our best to look out for all our players. We are continuing to build a group of players who can play at any point in time.
Jonny Bairstow also missed the first two Tests against India, as per the rotation policy. However, former England cricketers like Sir Ian Botham, Kevin Pietersen, and Michael Vaughan have criticised this rotation policy employed by the Three Lions.
“I think the rotation policy is something we need to get on with and make it work as best as we can. People do need to see their families, we are trying to make life for our players as comfortable as possible,” said Silverwood during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
“We just need to make it work, people need to spend some time with their families.
“We prioritise Tests and T20s equally, T20 World Cup is here in India, but we need to make sure that everyone stays in top form, and in order to do that, we need to rotate players and look after them. I can guarantee you we are not prioritising anything above Test cricket.
“We have to rotate people, that’s why we are working so hard in order to have a big group of players we can work with. We have seen some players who we might have not seen normally. We understand that we need to do it.
We also need to make sure that when we arrive at the Ashes, we have a healthy group of players that are all capable of performing. This all started for me one year ago, we have some great Test cricket between now and then, and we want to win everything,” he added.
“This is the life we are living in at the moment, we have to prioritise looking after our players. We are doing our best to make that happen, being locked up in bubbles is difficult and we need to respect that people need to see their families.”
The visitors stumbled to a 317-run loss in the second Test against India, and now the series is levelled at 1-1. Both teams will now face off in the third Test, which will be a day-night contest, set to begin on February 24 at the Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad.
“Moving into the next game, we are very excited and we have full faith in the players we have here. We did leave Dom out for the second Test, it gave him time to reflect, he is in a very good place.
“Bess offers us a lot with both bat and ball. He is a proper team man, given the opportunity, I am sure he will turn up and give it his all,” said Silverwood.
“It is going to be exciting, it is fantastic to have crowds back into stadiums, it is an exciting time ahead, I am looking forward to the day-night Test.
“We are going to give it a good go, we want to be the number one Test nation in the world and we want to have success in white-ball cricket and we are going to give it a good go, we are determined to make it happen,” he added.