Best to rest?
Should England rotate their bowlers for the third Test at Edgbaston? The Sky Sports experts have their say...
Last Updated: 29/05/12 10:57am
England beat West Indies at Trent Bridge on Monday to secure their seventh successive home Test series win.
But will that allow members of the Three Lions' revered seam attack to sit out the final Test at Edgbaston and recharge their batteries ahead of the hotly-anticipated contests with South Africa later this summer?
England bowling coach, David Saker, said after the game that he and the country's coaching team were always looking to manage the bowlers' workload and may rest a portion of them if the opportunity allowed, a scenario which could give fringe quicks Steven Finn and Graeme Onions a chance to impress.
Click the video at the top of the screen to hear Saker's interview in full and then scroll down to get the views of Sky Sports pundits Sir Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain, Michael Holding, Shane Warne and Michael Atherton on the topic of player rotation...
SIR IAN BOTHAM - England 1976-92
"It is down to individual bowlers but I think that when you are bowling well you want to keep playing; you don't want to be left out of the Test side because that's what you do. With a series of one-day games coming up, you could then go weeks and weeks without playing first-class cricket. England are world number one and the public come along to pay you and I think you are obliged to play your best side in every game. I would have hated it if someone had told me that, due to rotation, I wasn't playing."
NASSER HUSSAIN - England 1989-2004
"Bowlers are not all the same; the important thing is to pick which ones to rest and which ones to keep playing. I had Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick; if you gave Gough time off he would turn up at the next Test match and as soon as there was a camera near him he was absolutely fine, whereas Caddick would lose the rhythm of bowling. Only the England staff know whether James Anderson needs resting and whether it would be wise to get rid of the leader of your attack and put the Test match in any kind of jeopardy."
MICHAEL HOLDING - West Indies 1975-87
"It is important for guys to play cricket. Steven Finn is only a young man and is still learning and the more he plays the better he will become, but that doesn't mean he has to be playing at the highest level; I still think he can learn at county level. It is not a new thing to rest bowlers because I remember the West Indies did it years ago with Andy Roberts, the leader of the attack, because they had so much cricket coming up; he didn't play the last two Tests against India in 1976 because we were coming to England that summer."
SHANE WARNE - Australia 1992-2007
"You have to see what each individual needs but if England's premier bowlers don't play at Edgbaston there is not another Test match until July 19 [the first game of the South Africa series at the Oval]. They have a week off now and I would like to think that none of the bowlers would want to give their spot up. Glenn McGrath would always keep playing; he'd maybe miss one or two one-day games but never a Test match. I understand that England might want to see other very good bowlers that are on the fringes, but there will be a time and place for that. I'd like to see the tradition of not wanting to give a Test cap away remain."
MICHAEL ATHERTON - 1989-2001
"I'm not against rotation in principle because I think times have changed and there is a bigger volume of international cricket. The key date is not the next Test against the West Indies but that first Test match against South Africa; you want to make sure that your attack for that game - which will definitely include Anderson and Stuart Broad and almost certainly Tim Bresnan - is absolutely right. So you work back from that Test match against South Africa to make sure they've got enough first-class bowling running into that game. You then work back from the one-day games against Australia and this final Test against the West Indies to formulate a programme. David Saker said that Anderson and Broad are pretty goosed at the moment, but they have a week off before Edgbaston and will be fine for that game. The question is: will they be fine for the first Test against South Africa?"
The third Test between England and the West Indies is live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 10.30am on Thursday, June 7.