CA mulls rotating players for Test series

Cricket Australia is planning to rotate players from the Test side in a bid to prevent burnout as the team embarks on a schedule in the next 15 months.

updated: December 20, 2008 16:49 IST
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Cricket Australia is planning to rotate players from the Test side in a bid to prevent burnout as the team embarks on a gruelling playing schedule in the next 15 months.

Australia will be playing up to 86 international matches across three forms of the game. They are scheduled to play 20 Tests, 54 one-day internationals and 12 Twenty20 matches till March 2010, forcing cricket administrators to mull resting key players.

Australia coach Tim Nielsen supports the move. "I'd like to think all of our contracted players will be up for grabs for any game we need."

The rotation policy, first put into place during Steve Waugh's captaincy, was limited to the one-dayers. But demands of tours to South Africa, England and India next year has prominent figures considering the prospect of players sitting out Test matches.

Greg Chappell too shares a similar opinion. "I think it (rotation policy) is something everybody will have to consider. I can't say too much more because it's a discussion being had behind closed doors at the moment," Chappell was quoted as saying in the 'Daily Telegraph'.

"The overall program adds to the workload. Players can't expect to play the whole program, maybe we have to look at a squad mentality where players are rested from time to time. Players will have to be part of the discussions and solutions will have to be found," said Chappell.

"There's three different formats now - Test cricket, one-day cricket and Twenty20. It's a challenge for the players, no doubt about it. We have to deal with it one way or another," Chappell added.

Nielsen said efforts would be made to keep players fit for the gruelling months ahead.

"We have to manage this period as best we can. But if we get to the stage where somebody has had a huge workload, we will adjust their training workload ahead of the playing workload.

"We're not going to sit down and say right, 'Ponting will miss this series, Andrew Symonds will miss that series'. "But we need to see who's done what, and do guys with niggles need a rest mentally or physically? With so much cricket being played, we will need our finger on the pulse every day of the week."