England vs Sri Lanka: Rotation of players will be integral part of new phase, says Joe Root

England and Sri Lanka are slated to lock horns in the two-match Test series, beginning January 14 in Galle.

Published: 02nd January 2021 03:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2021 03:02 PM   |  A+A-

England Test skipper Joe Root

England Test skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)


LONDON: England Test skipper Joe Root feels rotation of players will be an integral part of cricket's new phase amid the coronavirus scare.

The coronavirus pandemic had put a full stop to all sporting activities before the England-West Indies series marked the resumption of international cricket in July last year.

Players now stay and train in a bio-secure environment as a precautionary measure for COVID-19 which sometimes becomes stressful for them.

In December last year, England cricketer Tom Banton had pulled out from the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) citing bio-bubble demands.

Root feels playing back-to-back games amid the pandemic will be a "big ask" but the England camp shall remain quite flexible to cater to the needs of players.

"You look at the amount of cricket on this coming tour and it's unrealistic for everyone to get through the whole thing. Rotation and rest is going to be an integral part of managing this next phase of games," ESPNcricinfo quoted Root as saying.

"Not only is the mental welfare of the players really important but physically being able to get through, with so many back-to-back games in those conditions, is going to be a big ask," he added.

Root, who has scored 5,962 runs in Test cricket, said with players opting out due to bio-bubble demands, it will be a great opportunity for the side to test the bench strength.

"We are going to have to be quite flexible and adaptable in terms of selection -- which is going to create opportunities for people to stand up and stake a claim at certain times through this winter," said Root.

"It's very exciting and another way we can develop as a squad, in terms of strength in depth," the skipper added.

England and Sri Lanka are slated to lock horns in the two-match Test series, beginning January 14 in Galle.

England's players and support staff are scheduled to fly to Sri Lanka on Saturday and upon landing, the tourists would be needed to undergo a three-day isolated quarantine, and if they test negative for the coronavirus after those three days, they will be allowed to train individually and then after six days, they can train as a group.

In December, the three-match ODI series between England and South Africa was postponed after some positive COVID-19 cases were reported.


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