Ashley Giles is adamant there is a sound reason for picking an experimental line-up in the NatWest Series.
Coach Ashley Giles has vehemently defended the under-strength nature of England's squad for the ongoing ODI series against Australia.
Captain Alastair Cook, batsman Ian Bell, fast bowler James Anderson, spinner Graeme Swann and all-rounder Stuart Broad have been rested for the five-match affair.
The uncapped Jamie Overton and Chris Jordan and the inexperienced Michael Carberry and Boyd Rankin, meanwhile, have been included. Batsman Eoin Morgan is leading the team in the absence of Cook.
"All we ask for is a bit of understanding about what we're trying to do. It is not just about winning the next game. There is a balance to be struck, of course, between the present and the future. We don't take losing games lightly," said Giles.
"It is not about giving games away and it is not about robbing the public of the right to watch our best players. It was discussed whether we pick two squads for different parts of the series, but I think that would be taking the mick a little bit. It is good to keep a bunch of guys together and work hard for the five games – and that is our aim at the moment."
While the first ODI at Leeds in Headingley was washout without a ball bowled, the Aussies were entirely dominant in the second match – and duly took a vital one-nil series lead, thanks largely to captain Michael Clarke's century and vice-captain George Bailey's half-ton.
"While it's always frustrating to any coach that you can't have your best side in the middle, the reasoning is absolutely spot on. We've got to look after our best players while looking at the next generation coming through. Of course, Cook and Bell are missing out," added Giles.
The third ODI will get underway at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday. Cardiff and Southampton will host fixtures four and five on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Special praise for CJ.
Better than only selling a Hundred tickets.
England win by a whopping two runs.
“I should have been facing coming into the last over with six to win.”
“He’s got an unbelievable record which I’d love to have.”
Praise from Caesar for Jofra Archer.
Let’s have less Rain Stopped Play and more Play Continued Through Rain.
What is the actual plan here, lads?