NOTTINGHAM — England is considering ignoring the old adage of ‘never change a winning side’ in a bid to ensure its leading bowlers remain fit for a packed program of international cricket.
The hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match Test series against the West Indies courtesy of a crushing nine-wicket win, achieved with more than a day to spare, at Trent Bridge here Monday.
There is just over a week until the third Test gets underway at Edgbaston on June 7 and normally England would be reluctant to make changes on grounds of squad rotation at such an early stage of its home international season.
England’s usual policy when resting players has been to give them time off in one-day series rather than Tests.
But it could change tack with a crowded fixture schedule on the horizon.
Once this Test campaign is over, there is a one-day series against the West Indies before Australia visits for a purely limited overs campaign ahead of a full tour, featuring Tests and one-dayers, by South Africa.
Later this year England defends its World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka before playing four Tests in India.
“We’ll definitely think about changes,” said captain Andrew Strauss, after top-scoring in both of England’s innings at Trent Bridge, where he made 141 — his second hundred in as many Tests — and 45.
“We’ve always viewed resting and rotating as something you have to do on a case-by-case basis so we’ll speak to the seamers, see how they’re feeling and see how we’re looking for the rest of the summer.
“It’s always a balance to strike because primarily you want to win every Test you play: that’s the starting point.
“We’ll have a conversation about it in the coming days.”
England has made great play of the strength of its seam bowling resources and in Steven Finn and Graham Onions, yet to feature in the series despite being included in 13-man squads, it has two proven performers.
Someone who has no desire to rest is seam bowler Tim Bresnan.
The Yorkshireman’s place was under threat coming into the second Test but he responded with a man-of-the-match display, taking eight wickets in the match and scoring a handy 39 not out that helped England to a first innings lead.
It also meant he extended his winning streak, with Bresnan victorious in all his 13 Tests. — AFP