Why are England resting players?


England’s selection policy is very disappointing

What terrestrial TV did for the game of cricket in 2005 was incredible, so I’m pretty upset that England won’t field their strongest team for any of the four Test matches against India that are being broadcast live on Channel 4 in the UK.

It’s incredibly disappointing. They should have come out all guns blazing for this series.

I know Channel 4 came in late in the day, but they should have done everything within their power, in the middle of a pandemic, with cricket on Channel 4, to pick their best team. To really compete in this series.

Yes, they won the first Test after winning the toss, but for a guy like Jimmy Anderson to be sitting around watching the second match when you’ve got Stuart Broad bowling 75mph dibbly-dobblers with the wicket-keeper standing up just doesn’t make any sense to me.

You’ve got Jos Buttler back home, Jonny Bairstow only flying out for the last couple of matches, and now Moeen Ali is going home, too. I know there might be personal reasons with Moeen, but I’d like to think he’d have stayed to play in the Test match – a historic day-night game – if at all possible.

I understand that bubble life isn’t easy, it’s really difficult.

But surely these guys want to play?

Winning in 2005, and in Australia in 2010/11, was amazing, but winning in India in 2012 was one of the best moments of my career.

We have a pink-ball Test match at a 100,000-seater in Ahmedabad next up, live on terrestrial TV, and there are guys with their feet up.

It’s so disappointing to see as a fan because this is such an opportunity for the masses to fall in love with this England team. For the life of me, I can’t understand it.

The pitch wasn’t great, but India outplayed England

I wrote last week that I didn’t want to see another ‘win the toss, win the match’ pitch in Chennai, but unfortunately that’s what we got.

It was quite a gamble from India, because if they’d lost this toss they would have been in danger of going 2-0 down in the series.

That said, India played the best cricket in this match and deserved to win. Rohit Sharma’s fantastic innings on day one set the tone and the difference between the sides was clear to see from there.

Perhaps India showed up England’s players as not being good enough to compete, but I’m not so sure – I just wish we’d seen England’s best side give this Test match the best possible crack.

We’ll have to see what the wicket looks like for the third Test, and what sort of team England produce, but the day-night conditions certainly give the visitors the best chance of securing at least a draw from this series.

IPL auction brings one of two emotions

The IPL auction – which takes for place for the 2021 competition on Thursday – can be very exciting, or very disappointing. It’s as simple as that.

You can get signed for big money and see your life change, or you can sit there with nothing.

In 2009, me and Freddy (Flintoff) found out we’d gone for $1.5m in the middle of a Test match in the Caribbean, which was a little bit strange. It was obviously fantastic news, but I was trying to focus on the match at the same time.

The next day I slogged one up in the air on 97, and the headline was: “Dumb Slog Millionaire”. I still think that was the best headline ever written about me.

There are quite a few exciting names in this year’s auction. It will be interesting to see, of the overseas guys, where Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith end up because they are all proven world-class performers.

You’ve also got Glenn Maxwell, Shakib Al Hasan and plenty of others. There’s some serious talent available.

It’s so hard to predict these auctions, though. I’ve predicted a lot in the past and you end up looking silly when somebody obscure ends up going for huge money.

Each team has their own ideas and their own theories, so it will be interesting to see where we are come Thursday evening.

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