England’s Test best get a rest
ENGLAND have snubbed the post-Ashes one-day series against Australia by resting big-name stars Joe Root and Stuart Broad.
Trevor Bayliss’ side might be Ashes champions, but they are at the bottom of the tree in 50-over cricket after their World Cup embarrassment in Australasia this year.
Sell-out crowds will pack into British grounds for the five ODIs and one Twenty20 fixture, but some of English cricket’s biggest names will not be seen as the ECB elected to prioritise the upcoming Test tour against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Australia have named a squad featuring new captain Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson.
England will go to battle with Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Steve Finn and Jos Buttler as their only players of note.
Fast bowler James Anderson has also been left out – more understandable given the side strain he suffered during the Ashes, although he was in contention to return in the fifth and final Test in London.
In October England are off to the UAE and Australia to Bangladesh, and selectors worry about player burnout.
Shortchanging your home fans can be a dangerous practice, especially in Britain where the game is not on free-to-air television and is in direct battle for column inches with English Premier League football.
Australia once rested Warner from a limited-overs match and faced a huge backlash from Channel 9. Go online to read Michael Clarke’s column, couriermail.com.au/sport