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England have gone wrong with rotation policy: Bell

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
February 26, 2021 12:50 IST
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'I've got a lot of sympathy for England on these pitches, but I can't help but feel we're not making it easy for ourselves by chopping and changing every Test.'

IMAGE: Former England batsman Ian Bell believes sticking to winning combinations is important while competing with the best teams in the world. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB

Former batsman Ian Bell slammed England's much-debated rotation policy, saying they were guilty of thinking too far ahead and have gone wrong with the constant chopping and changing in a big Test series like India.

 

England suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat in the third Test against India to go down 1-2 in the four-match series, while also getting knocked out of contention from the ICC World Test Championship final in June.

"I think England have been guilty of thinking too far ahead of having a squad for the Ashes when actually this is bigger than the Ashes, this is probably as big as the Ashes," Bell told ESPNCricinfo.

"Why are we rotating in the biggest Test series you are playing in? For me that's where England have gone a bit wrong," he added.

The 38-year-old, who featured in 118 Tests for England, feels for the English players for whom the tours to India and Australia can make or break careers.

"These tours, certainly for Englishmen coming to India or going to Australia are the pinnacle. They make your careers, you look back and if you win in those conditions they are remembered for a long long time," Bell said.

"For me, India are going to come to England in the summer. If they are 2-0 or 1-0 up will they rotate? I know for a fact that when India come in the summer they won't be rotating their best bowlers or their best players or leave somebody out. They want to win."

Bell believes sticking to winning combinations is important while competing with the best teams in the world.

"In international cricket you have to be so careful between the balance of looking after your players and doing bubbles but don't look too far ahead.

"International cricket changes all the time, form comes in and out as you play. When you are playing well don't lose it or change it, winning combinations are so important to keep against the best teams in the world."

While there was a lot of discussion around the the spin-friendly Motera pitch that saw tweakers dominate the proceedings in the third Test, Bell feels it was the rotation policy that made life difficult for England, who played just one spinner in Jack Leach.

"I've got a lot of sympathy for England on these pitches, but I can't help but feel we're not making it easy for ourselves by chopping and changing every Test," Bell reiterated.     

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott felt Joe Root and his men were outplayed by the hosts in the day-night Test and there was nothing wrong with the pitch.

"There is nothing in the rules that says what type of pitch should be prepared. We had first choice of the surface and they were better than us. Simple," Boycott tweeted.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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