Something about squad rotation

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< 1 minute read

There’s plenty of talk about resting England’s bowlers now that the series is won. We predicted squad rotation years ago and while we don’t disagree with the practice, we do disagree with the world that necessitates it.

If the first XI were exactly that in every international cricket match, the sport would be in a better place. Sadly, it’s rarely the case. England tend to field their best Test team and then muck about with their one-day side. Other nations go the other way.

The upshot is that England tend to win more Tests than they lose, while nations more concerned with one-day internationals have the same experience with their preferred format. Hurray, everyone’s a winner! Everyone wins at a game the opposition isn’t really playing!

Somewhere, in a parallel universe, less international cricket is played and every match features the very best players performing at their best. The people in the crowd know this and their experience is richer and more enjoyable as a consequence, no matter what the result. These spectators are so happy they don’t even care that they have unsightly tendrils sprouting from their faces. They’re not remotely jealous of our universe.


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  1. “If the first XI were exactly that …” What does this mean? That this eleven was:

    a) the first to arrive at the ground.
    b) the first to demonstrate without a shred of doubt that they are indeed wearing clean underwear.
    c) the first to accomplish the impossible task of picking their nose while throwing down the stumps from long-leg.
    d) the first to be Mankaded while they were meditatively touching themselves at the non-stiker’s end.

    I want specifics.

    1. Does the phrase ‘first XI’ come from the schoolboy selection process where players would line up against a wall and the captain would select them one by one – best first, worst last.

      Open, honest and with more than a dash of ritual humiliation.

      Oh, and the intended meaning was (b), Deep Cower. Obviously. Interestingly, Chris Tremlett said that one of his team mates would not have been able to demonstrate this earlier in the week.

      No idea why that didn’t make it into our Cricinfo Twitter round-up.

  2. In other news, the comments on Cricinfo’s comments page about KP retiring from limited over internationals are quite funny.

    1. Are you referring to the phrase:

      “I hope there ain’t any backdoor pressure”

  3. I was bored, so I fettled with some stats. This is slightly, but not entirely, relevant…

    Since 1st April 2009, when Flower’s regime really started to take hold on return from the Caribbean, England have played 69 ODIs.

    Ten players have played in more than half the ODIs. Four players have played in more than 2/3 of the games (46).
    Noone has played more than 80% of ODIs.

    Contrast this with the test team, who have played 38 times in that span.

    3 players have played all tests.
    7 players have played more than 80% of the tests.
    Two others have played 78.9% of tests

  4. If Anderson plays any ODIs or games for Lancs before the first test against SA, I am going to be pissed off.

    I really hope the Aussies do go on strike and get that series cancelled.

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