After defeating Sri Lanka 2-0 in their home in a two-match Test series, England is currently preparing to take on India. England’s performance in Sri Lanka was just good but it was the poor performance exhibited by the host country that caused their loss. Compared to India, Sri Lanka is a small team to face and England knows they have to do a lot better as they face them in four Test matches which start on February 5.
As they prepare for their upcoming fixture, England is making changes to the team by resting some players that took part in the Test against Sri Lanka, replacing them with other players. To this effect, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer would join the squad against India after missing the fixture against Sri Lanka. Sam Curran and Johnny Bairstow, who were rested at some point during the last fixture would miss the first two games against India. Batsman Jos Butler would only play in the opening game.
This rotation policy has attracted a lot of criticism from fans but coach Chris Silverwood has assured that this is the best strategy to adopt, given the fact that England would play at least 17 Tests this year. With so many games to play, including the T20 World Cup, he agrees that it would only make sense to rest the players at one point or the other.
He said, “I stand by it. We’ve got to look after our people. We’re spending a lot of time locked in hotel rooms inside bio-secure bubbles and it’s not easy. We’ve decided that we need to look after the players and I do believe in being proactive by looking after players, rather than waiting until there’s a problem.” He asked supporters to understand and offer their support as all they were doing was in the best interest of the players. Silverwood also confirmed that Moeen Ali, who was away from the Sri Lanka test after testing positive for the coronavirus, would play in the first test against India.
Joe Root would continue his role as skipper, having led his team to 10 unbeaten Tests now, 5 of which was away.
Written by: Leon Osamor