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Geoffrey Boycott backing England youngsters to shine in India
Geoffrey Boycott hopes to see promising players such as Joe Root of Yorkshire given their England chance during the five-match one-day international series in India, which starts in Rajkot tomorrow.
The former England opening batsman and current White Rose president says the series, the first under new limited-overs coach Ashley Giles, begins an important two-year preparation period leading up to the 2015 World Cup in Australia.
England are employing a rotation policy for their winter ODIs, including a three-match series in New Zealand next month.
Jimmy Anderson, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott are missing the India trip, while Stuart Broad sits out the first two matches and Kevin Pietersen has been left out for the New Zealand series.
So the likes of Root, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Stuart Meaker and Chris Woakes all have the opportunity to shine on the sub-continent, where England have already won a Test series and drawn a two-match Twenty20 series.
“It is a good opportunity for England to give some talented youngsters a go,” said Boycott.
“We have to be planning because in two years there is a World Cup in Australia. Although you’re trying to win matches, you have to keep thinking that the prize is the World Cup. We have had three finals and never won one. We have to win one.
“I think the selectors have done a very good job. They’ve watched people and gone with their judgement.
“They’ve asked a lot of people – I’m sure I’m just one of dozens. I think they’ve made a lot of wise decisions because they’ve picked players who they think have got a bit of something special.
“But the only way of finding that out is to put them in match situations where questions are asked of them; difficult questions when your team is under pressure.”
Despite India’s recent 2-1 series defeat against Pakistan, England will have to overcome the odds to beat them, having lost their last three series against MS Dhoni’s side 5-1, 5-0 and 5-0.
But as long as there are signs shown that the team is progressing, Boycott believes a series win is not the be all and end all.
He said: “You’ve not got to lose sight of February 2015 in Australia. Nobody will remember who you beat now, tomorrow or next week but they will at that World Cup.”