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England may ‘rest and rotate’ players in Ashes

England’s current rest and rotation policy is likely to continue in the Ashes 2021-22 Down Under as well.

England on top at Chennai

This selection policy will be in place if England face biosecurity restrictions in Australia later this year.

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England rested the likes of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer during two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in January. Jos Buttler played only one of four Test matches in India, where Stuart Broad played two and James Anderson three.

England will have a long Test summer (two vs New Zealand and five vs India) before leaving for limited overs tour the subcontinent – T20Is in Pakistan, ODIs and T20Is in Bangladesh, and the T20 World Cup in India.

Head coach Chris Silverwood has said no one will be forced to play, “I don’t think it’s acceptable to push somebody until they break and then try and pick them up. We have to make the intervention before anybody does break so we can get them back in an England shirt quicker.

“Equally, everyone misses their family. The families miss the players that are here. If we can’t get the families to the players as we normally would, it’s important we do our best to get the players to the families. From a well-being point of view, it’s so important these players stay connected with their families.

“Will the policy continue into the English summer? It’s certainly something we have to be aware of and consider because we don’t know what the landscape will look like from a Covid point of view.

“Could players be flying home midway through the Ashes? We have to be proactive in looking after them, so it’s certainly something that we may have to look at, yes.

“I know things are slowly opening up, but we will be guided by the medical advice and what’s happening in the country. It’s certainly something that we are probably going to have around,” he added.

England failed to make it to the World Test Championship final after losing the series to India by 1-3.

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