Cook: Rotation part of the game

  • Last Updated: January 14 2013, 13:30 GMT

Alastair Cook is content to be leading a relatively fresh-faced England side in India this month after accepting the need for rotation in international cricket.

Cook: Urging against complacency
Cook: Urging against complacency

The England and Wales Cricket Board have long pursued a policy of resting the players with the heaviest schedules and, with a Champions Trophy, back-to-back Ashes contests and a pair of series against New Zealand all coming up in the next year, that shows no signs of abating.

Indeed, their current one-day series in India, which continues with the second one-day international in Kochi on Tuesday, takes place while a trio of senior men stay back in England.

Anchor man Jonathan Trott, opening bowler James Anderson and first-choice spinner Graeme Swann have all been excused the five-match series, which England lead 1-0 after success in Rajkot.

But Cook does not bemoan the lack of experience as he plots to record only a second series win in the country, instead accepting the need for workloads to be managed.

"Careers are short but rest and rotation is going to be an important part of the side moving forward," he said.

"Luckily we are building a squad of players. We've got young lads here who have been in the international side for six to eight months and they are gaining experience, and hopefully showing if they get their chance they can take it.

"Rest and rotation is important and to me it is on a tour by tour, week by week basis.

"As players and even coaches we are going to have to assess the situation, week by week, month by month. You can't really plan too far ahead because things change due to injury or form or whatever."

Cook's reference to 'resting' coaches is a nod to the decision to appoint Ashley Giles as the side's limited-overs coach, easing the strain of team director Andy Flower, who continues to lead the Test XI.

Before being named skipper of the 50-over side, Cook suffered from something Tim Bresnan describes as "natural rotation" in one-day cricket, having been overlooked for tactical reasons.

Despite excelling since his return he remains unpicked in Twenty20, something which perhaps explains his own eagerness to avoid being rotated out of the side's he currently leads.

"I want to play as much cricket as I can for England," he said. "I'm just happy that I am getting selected to play.

"There was a time when I wasn't playing any one-day cricket at all. At the moment I am feeling fresh and excited by the challenges ahead."

More immediately, Cook took the chance to warn England not to be complacent about spinning their way to victory in India.

It was not long ago that the team were being chastised for their performance against the turning ball, notably when Pakistan duo Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman perplexed the top order a year ago in the United Arab Emirates.

Things have picked up somewhat since then and England's landmark Test series win in India before Christmas saw a tangible turning of the tide.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra lacked penetration and were largely played with assurance by the tourists, while Swann and Monty Panesar enjoyed considerable success against batsmen feted for their ability against spin.

Next-in-line James Tredwell picked up their lead impressively in the first ODI, returning career-best figures of four for 44, while Joe Root and Samit Patel offered steady support.

The notion of England consistently out-spinning India on their own patch seems counter-intuitive and Cook admits he is not ready to claim dominance just yet.

"I wouldn't say that, but obviously our spinners have done well," he said.

"In the test match series we bowled very well. Monty and Swanny proved what quality bowlers they are and in that first one-dayer we had Tredders, who has been around a while and he has been doing that for years.

"It just proves that that experience you gain in county cricket can bode well in international cricket. But we've played one game in this series.

"Let's not get too carried away. We enjoyed the other night because we won. But it's a game of fine margins. We are going to have to do the same in the remaining games."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week