Rotation Policy of the England Cricket Board - Analysis

The English Cricket Team is relying on the policy of rotation of players since the last couple of years. Rotation of players means to replace the players in the playing XI of a match after every single game. For example, in the last test series versus India, James Anderson, Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler played the first test match. Despite of their good performance, they were replaced by Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Olly Stone and Ben Foakes respectively. It is a great question for all as to why did such big changes happen in the English team even if the players are in form and ready to prove themselves.

Starting with the perspective of the coach and captain, it might be the thought to give every player a chance, so that after a specific point of time they have a spectrum of options available to shortlist the best squad. The number of options available for the selecters is also certainly a matter of concern. Now if we talk about the negatives of this rotation policy, the first one would be degraded player confidence. If a player appears in continuous matches, it gives him confidence and focus. He is less nervous to face the opponents, which will ultimately lead to great performance by the player.

Moreover, if a player is at his peak, he will not be able to continue the same performance in upcoming matches as there would be a lot of breaks of matches he'll be playing. It is clearly evident from history that if a player, be it batsmen or bowler, has been given enough opportunities and continuous chances to play, he has done very well at further points.

Not only to the players, it can be disadvantageous to the team as a whole. Constant substitutions in the team will lead to inconsistency and the players will not be able to settle with any combinations. Again we can take examples from the past where partnerships have led to great victories. There are combinations like Virender Sehwag-Sachin Tendulkar, Glenn Mcgrath-Brett Lee, Rahul Dravid-VVS Laxman, Kumar Sangakkara-Mahela Jayawardena, Kevin Pietersen-Andrew Flintoff, Adam Gilchrist-Ricky Ponting, and many more which have performed fantastically when they played together. Cricket is a team game, which when played with a coordinated team, yields best results.

Coming to the alternative solution to rotation policy, the ECB can make a band of players which will be playing in a particular series or tour. For example, if England is on a tour of Australia, they can take along a squad of 16 players who'll be playing in the series. In this way, the team will have adequate provision of injuries and the players need not be rotated. The players will gain confidence if the board shows trust on them. This will also increase team performance, unlike the India Tour of England, where huge changes were made in test matches.

Now after one series or tour, the board can filter players according to their performance in the last tour and then give opportunity to the left over players which couldn't go on the previous tour. This way, constantly the team will build up more solid and every player would have the winning spirit in himself, and the team would be able to depend upon each and every player. A great standard to this theory is MS Dhoni. He has always followed the policy of "One Team, Won Team". It is clearly evident from Dhoni's captaincy that he doesn't believes in making changes in the playing XI if everyone is playing his role vitally. And thus his success journey is the most known in the cricketing world, as the Champion of every ICC Tournament, and the most successful captain in cricket history.

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