Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt has stated that no matter how good a player is with the bat and ball, as a human, concentration level dips after playing continuously in a cramped schedule. He added that it is necessary for India to rotate players in order to reduce the stress factor.
Salman Butt is of the opinion that Team India should adopt the rotation policy in the ongoing series against England. Butt’s comments came after England played dominant cricket on Day 2 to place themselves as firm favorites to win the third Test at Headingley in Leeds.
“I feel Team India must start rotating their players,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.
The former Pakistan capatin reckoned that back-to-back matches with tight schedules can be a reason for Team India’s poor performance in the ongoing Headingley Test.
“Team India plays a lot of cricket and their schedule is completely cramped. When you play too much cricket, no matter how good or professional you are, as a human, sometimes the mind just doesn’t respond. When your focus level falls, your output is bound to decrease,” he said.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s performance is still a big concern for the team as the world-class batsman has yet again failed to deliver in the first innings of the Leeds Test which saw India getting bundled out for 78 runs. Kohli’s last three-digit score came against Bangladesh in 2019 in Kolkata and his last half-century came in February against England in Chennai.
The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are struggling to find runs in the series. Rahane and Pujara played gritty knocks in the second innings of Lord's Test but failed all over again on Wednesday. Pujara has not scored a century since January 2019, while Rahane scored a ton during the Boxing Day Test against Australia in December 2020.
Salman Butt stated that the excess amount of pressure created upon the players will deteriorate their good run in the game. He added that India have got talents in reserve to adopt the rotation policy which can pave the way for Ashwin and Thakur.
“You can imagine the amount of matches Team India cricketers are playing. Remember, recently, they had to send a second team to Sri Lanka because of excess engagement. There are no doubts over the quality and skills of Team India’s players. But I feel too much of cricket has got to them. They need to rotate two-three players and have the arsenal. Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur can come in. They can play another batsman as well,” Butt added.
After a 151-run defeat at Lord’s, India seemed to be the favorites to dominate the Third test as well. But, from Day 1, everything went in the favour of Joe Root and his men as they dominated the match in all the departments of the game. Joe Root smashed his 23rd century in Test cricket, as the hosts ended Day 2 at 423/8, taking a solid 345-run lead.
Earlier, England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed partnered for 135 runs to put the hosts in a commanding position in the match. Dawid Malan who got his Test call after three years scored a magnificent 70 while building up a crucial 139-run stand with the centurion of the match, Joe Root who scored 121 runs.
For India, only two batsmen could score in double-digits and were restricted to 78 by the English bowlers. Mohammed Shami with his 3/87 remains the most successful bowler for India in the match so far.