Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sometimes Losing is Good

No, that's not a line from Simon Cowell. I'm just thankful that England got knocked out of the one-day competition yesterday. They'll get more from the extra rest than from the extra cricket.

Several players have recently had a boost in form following a break, including Paul Collingwood, and Ricky Ponting. At the same time the relentless cricket schedule is continuing to mow down the England squad - Collingwood was pretty wrecked before his break a few weeks ago, Broad is now down, Flintoff and Pieterson are more long term casualties.

Andrew Strauss only came into the running for cricketer of the year after being dropped 12 months ago. Either the cricketing schedules need to change (and there's no immediate chance of that), or selectors need to start working on a squad rotation system, resting players before they go down with injuries, rather than being forced to do so once they're crocked.

The other odd result of the last couple of weeks is that the derided 50-over formula has produced some absolutely cracking cricket. In a sense that's a shame: cancelling all 50-over games might be a way of creating some space in the calendar. Meanwhile England have a month until they are back in South Africa for the tour proper, where we play the Springboks 12 times in 3 different formats. Time to overkill that fatted calf again.

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