Jonathan Trott believes England made the best of a "lose-lose" situation after their Ashes warm-up opponents Essex lost three bowlers to mid-match injuries.
Essex lost seamers David Masters and Tymal Mills to Achilles and hamstring injuries respectively before part-time off-spinner Tom Westley dislocated a finger fielding at gully.
However, national coach Andy Flower decided to shed the fixture's first-class status to allow England's Boyd Rankin and Essex back-up Reece Topley to deputise.
This allowed the England batsman to face a sterner test as they prepare for next week's first Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge.
Trott (79) and his captain Alastair Cook (82) both retired out as England closed a rain-shortened third day of four at Chelmsford on 217 for three, with a lead of 352.
Trott said: "Obviously, two bowlers down, it can be quite tricky for a captain - a long season and down to Ravi (Bopara) and Saj Mahmood.
"You don't want to bowl Saj into the ground, for 15 overs straight or something like that.
"If it hadn't been done, you'd probably be asking me 'Is it the right preparation, having only one frontline bowler available to come at you before a first Ashes Test match?'
"It's a lose-lose situation probably. But I thought the right thing has been done.
"Reece Topley bowled well, and Boyd Rankin came in and did as well.
"For the game of cricket and our preparation for the first Test, I think it was pretty much spot on.
"We heard whispers of what they were trying to do, with regards to approaching the ECB and MCC to get the game changed and making it worthwhile for both teams.
"The last thing you want is Essex players going out there through the motions. It's difficult with their injuries."