England guilty of rotating players in biggest Test series, planning for Ashes well in advance: Ian Bell

England guilty of rotating players in biggest Test series, planning for Ashes well in advance: Ian Bell

Former England middle-order batsman has blamed Three Lions’ rotation policy for players responsible for the side’s back-to-back defeats in Chennai and Ahmedabad Tests. Bell, who featured in 118 Tests for England, said that Joe Root’s side are planning well in advance for this year’s Ashes in Australia.

The 38-year-old went on to add that, Test series against India is “bigger than the Ashes” and that a visiting India side would have never have rotated or changed the winning combination after taking an initial lead in the series.

“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.”

“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 re playing well don’t lose it or change it, winning combinations are so important to keep against the best teams in the world.”

Senior wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, who has great experience of playing on Indian pitches, was rested after England won the first Test. Moeen Ali went back home after the 2nd Test, while Jonny Bairstow who was rested for the first two Tests was brought back for the last 2 matches. Stuart Broad came in place of James Anderson for the second Test which England lost by 317 runs.


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