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.