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India vs England 2020-21 – Test cricket remains a priority for England, insists Chris Silverwood


Coach responds to prospect of Test stars missing NZ series to play in IPL

Chris Silverwood has insisted Test cricket remains a priority for England, and that their ongoing rotation policy is more a reflection of the length of Test tours than a desire to maximise the players’ white-ball opportunities.

While England are unlikely to field a first-choice XI in any of the six Tests they play this winter, they have named a full-strength side for the T20I series that starts in India in March. And while all of England’s all-format players will have missed some international cricket over the English winter, it seems none of them will be required to miss any cricket in the IPL.

It has also now emerged that England’s Test team for the first Test against New Zealand – scheduled for the start of June – will not contain players involved in the play-off stages of the IPL.

Although the T20 World Cup – scheduled to be played in India towards the end of the year – provides one explanation for the policy, England’s on-going interest in the World Test Championship (they could still qualify for the final if they win the final two Tests of the series against India) would appear to contradict that justification.

Nevertheless, England’s recent Test record – notwithstanding their heavy defeat in last week’s second Test in Chennai – remains impressive, with four series wins in a row dating back to last winter’s tour of South Africa.

Silverwood, the England head coach, insists “Test cricket is the priority to us most definitely” and feels absences incurred during Test series are more a reflection of the length of time required for such campaigns than any reflection of their diminishing importance.

“Test cricket is really important to me,” Silverwood said. “I’ve always said that. It’s something Joe Root and I are very passionate about. We prioritise Tests and T20 equally, to be honest.

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