Flower maintains England's 'best interests'
England’s selectors will continue to make decisions “in the best interests of English cricket”, according to team director Andy Flower.
Flower and fellow selectors Geoff Miller, Ashley Giles and James Whitaker decided to leave James Anderson out of the squad for this week’s third Investec Test with West Indies at Edgbaston to give the 29-year-old an opportunity to overcome several minor injuries.
Flower today answered questions about the absence of Anderson, who will not have a chance to add to his 267 wickets in 70 Tests until England face South Africa next month.
“We've won this Test series already,” Flower said.
“I've heard people argue that it would be nice to get his Test-wicket tally up. We don't select people to get their Test tally up, or their Test run record up. We make decisions in the best interests of English cricket.”
Flower added: “There is no system that's absolutely perfect.
“We know Anderson is one of the best fast bowlers in the world and, all being well, he will be back in to face South Africa in the first Test. Whether he bowls in this Test isn't going to affect how he bowls against South Africa.”
Flower also looked beyond the South Africa Test series, before which England have NatWest Series against the Windies and Australia.
A NatWest Series versus the Proteas follows those Tests, ahead of England’s World Twenty20 defence in Sri Lanka and the first part of the split tour to India.
“We've also got a whole load of one-day matches, then the Twenty20 World Cup, then a two-month tour of India prior to Christmas,” he continued.
“In the past we tended to play the fast bowlers until they were either bowling so poorly we had to leave them out, or they break down. And that doesn't make sense to us.”
He added: “So to conclude I'd say we make decisions that make us stronger in the medium- to long-term.
“Those are the reasons why we've made those decisions. Some people will disagree with them and that's fair enough. But I hope you can understand the logic behind those decisions.”
Jonathan Trott concurs with Flower and understands the thinking behind trying to preserve one of England’s prime assets.
“It’s happened in the past, and probably will in the future as well - with the schedule getting busier and busier,” Trott said today. “It’s only right that these things happen.
“Jimmy would have liked to have played, and quite rightly. He’s the spearhead of our bowling attack, and you can understand that he will probably be a little bit disappointed. But with the bowlers and their heavy workload, it’s going to happen from time to time.
“It’s not as if you’re giving away international caps. We have guys who are vying to play, and whoever takes his place should do a great job.”
As for the prospect of completing a series whitewash on his home ground, Trott reports world number ones England are in hungry mood.
“We’ve got the opportunity to win 3-0, so it’s really important we drive home that advantage and don’t take our foot off the gas,” he added.