Buttler backs England rotation in India
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Chennai (India) (AFP) –
England star Jos Buttler on Saturday defended his country's player rotation on their Asian tour, insisting that players could not put up with pandemic bubbles to appear in every game.
As he sat out quarantine in Chennai ahead of England's first Test in India next Friday, the wicketkeeper-batsman said it was hard to complain about playing when so many people have had "their worlds turned upside down" by the pandemic.
But it was "challenging" for the squad, Buttler told a virtual press conference, backing the England board's use of rest periods that saw Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer miss the Sri Lanka Tests this month.
"Spending time away from your family, being in quarantine, locked up in hotels, can be tough and the ECB have been really forward thinking I feel for us as an England group to rotate players in and out of this series," Buttler, who will go home after the first of the four Tests in India, said.
England coach Chris Silverwood has already given strong support to the policy.
"I am sure at times there are frustrations because you want to see all the best players on show all the time," said Buttler.
"But it's just not possible with the amount of cricket and the amount of time spent in bubbles to keep people healthy."
Players also have to "look after ourselves as best we can", Buttler added, meaning that few were looking beyond the India series.
"When you look ahead there is so much uncertainty, I certainly find it tough knowing there is no real certainty at the moment in most of the things we are doing."
While they will face an India side boosted by their sensational series upset in Australia and the return of captain Virat Kohli, Buttler said England were confident after their 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka.
The match also helped younger players acclimatise to South Asian conditions before their first taste of Tests in India's intense conditions, Buttler said.
"Spending time in India you start to understand the magnitude of the game here and coming up against some of the best players in the world," he said.
"It is a huge challenge for us as England players coming to play India in India, but that is why we play the game. These are the guys we want to test ourselves against."
The last time India lost a series at home was against England in 2012-13.
Buttler said this squad may not be at the same level but they were "trending in that way".
"It is an exciting time for us to take on this challenge. It is such a tough challenge because you are playing against the best team in the world in their own conditions."
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