Kieswetter backs rotation policy

  • Last Updated: July 5 2012, 22:09 BST

Craig Kieswetter is urging critics of England's rotation policy to see the "bigger picture" of what he and his team-mates are trying to achieve.

Kieswetter: Behind the rotation policy

England decided, for the second time this summer, to prescribe a NatWest Series break for Graeme Swann - who has a sore bowling elbow.

The off-spinner is one of his country's prize assets in all three formats, and national selector Geoff Miller made it clear that it is a priority for the world number ones to have him fit for three forthcoming Tests against their nearest pursuers South Africa.

The difference this time, though, for Swann and England is that - unlike against West Indies last month - he will miss two one-day internationals, rather than one previously, in a series which is not yet won.

England's 2-0 lead over the Windies was unassailable when Swann, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan were rested for what turned out to be a Headingley washout; against Australia, they could yet be hauled back to a 2-2 draw.

Kieswetter empathises to a degree with crowds disappointed by the absence of the highest-profile players - but is convinced of the wisdom of coach Andy Flower and the selectors' rotation policy.

Asked about those who contend supporters are being short-changed, England's limited-overs wicketkeeper said: "I think it's quite a small-minded way of looking at it.

"Obviously spectators want to see the big players playing, but they also want to see England winning consistently.

"If everyone is playing every single game, with the sort of schedules we are having to play now, there would be a lot more injuries.

"Then spectators would be just as upset that the bigger players are injured."

Kieswetter believes England are striking the right balance between giving punters what they want in the short and longer term.

"There needs to be some sort of give and take between everyone.

"From the supporters' side of it, we as players can see why they would be upset - the players are upset themselves when they get rested - but it's about driving towards the bigger picture.

"Swanny has a bit of irritation in his elbow and he's being rested, with quite a few Tests against South Africa coming up.

"That's a big series, and they're trying to give it time to settle down - which to me makes obvious sense.

"There's a lot been said about the rotation policy, but at the end of the day if you want to continue winning games you have to have your best players on the park.

"In the long term the rotation policy is a really positive move to helping England achieving goals and reaching number one status in all three formats."

At least one England player has already voiced initial disappointment at being rested, but it seems most are 'on message' now.

"As players we see it as a team decision," added Kieswetter.

"We all want to be playing. We don't want to be rested or told we have to sit out a game.

"Everyone wants to play. But everyone sees the big picture and what the team needs."

Kieswetter would love the opportunity, in fact, to play more often himself - as part of England's Test team.

Matt Prior's continued success stands in his way, but Kieswetter said of his Test aspirations: "They have always been strong.

"They never wavered, even when I had a slight dip in form and got left out of the one-day side.

"I would love to play Test cricket and I have made no attempt to hide that fact.

"As much as I have to think of one-day cricket as well, four-day and Test cricket is definitely on my radar.

"I have the one-day gloves and the Twenty20 gloves, and Matty Prior has the Test gloves. It's my job to push him as hard as I can in the Test format.

"I guess I'd be up there in the running. There are a few wicketkeepers around the country, but the fact I have the gloves in two other formats probably puts me in a fairly strong position."

His 50-over batting is back on track, it seems, following a move down to number six in - and Kieswetter is enjoying his middle-order partnerships with Eoin Morgan.

"I'm trying to have more dimensions in terms of the areas on the field I am trying to hit to," he said.

"I've got real confidence in myself and Morgs at five and six.

"We're really confident in each other, and there is a lot of trust.

"We're backing each other to play shots we think are appropriate at the time.

"We trust in other's game plans and (have) a belief in each other, which is a confidence built from being able to achieve things in crunch times in the game."