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Rest and rotation policy behind England's loss to New Zealand: Cook

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London, June 22 (IANS) Former England Test and ODI skipper Alastair Cook is disappointed with the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) rest and rotation policy and feels it’s the main reason for the team’s 0-1 loss to New Zealand in the two-Test series recently.

A veteran of 161 Tests and 92 ODIs, Cook added that he sympathised with his successor, Joe Root, who did not get his choice of players in each of England’s last eight Tests, dating back to the Sri Lanka tour in January.

“Clearly it was disappointing. England have got themselves in a tough situation. It was going so well, winning in Sri Lanka and then they’re 1-0 up against India. To then rest and rotate players, ever since that moment they’ve ended up chasing their tail — ending up with a fifth-choice wicketkeeper (James Bracey), an unbalanced side even though people were playing the (T20) Blast,” said Cook.

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While all-rounder Ben Stokes and pace bowler Jofra Archer suffered injuries and were unavailable for the Test series against New Zealand, several key players were not in the England squad because of the ECB’s rest and rotation policy.

Besides, top England cricketers such as Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, who played in the Indian Premier League (IPL), were not part of the Joe Root-led side during the two New Zealand Tests.

“You’ve got a Test captain (Joe Root) who hasn’t been able to play his best side, yet we seem to be playing a full-strength side in the T20s against Sri Lanka (June 23-26, 2021). The decisions don’t look like they’ve been made correctly. Of course, they’re trying their best to make the right decisions for the right reasons, but when you’re playing for England, you get judged on end results most of the time, so you’d have to say it hasn’t worked,” Cook told ESPNcricinfo.

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“I genuinely feel sorry for Joe Root because he hasn’t had his best players available. You can’t buy that experience of guys like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali. Those kinds of players make a big difference.

“When you look at it in isolation, it doesn’t make that much sense what happened, but how they got there you can kind of half understand. It’s been a tough one, and they just got found out against a better team in that New Zealand series.”

–IANS

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