Decision To Participate In Both IPL 2020 And 2021 Weakened England's Test Team: Nasser Hussain
LEEDS, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Skysports presenters Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain ahead of day four of 2nd Investec Test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley on May 27, 2013 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Decision To Participate In Both IPL 2020 And 2021 Weakened England’s Test Team: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain feels the decision by England players to participate in both the IPL 2020 and 2021 seasons within six months has weakened the country’s Test team. The former captain said this has forced the management to look into programs like the controversial rotation policy, thus cramping their red-ball resources.

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain remarked that it was the responsibility of multi-contracted players to put their hands up and prioritize Test cricket over one of the two IPL seasons.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: Multi Contracted Players Could Have Played Either IPL 2020 Or IPL 2021 Only

England did not play Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood in the first two Tests but have brought them back for the final two Tests as a part of rotation policy while first-choice keeper Jos Buttler is back home after the opening Test to help players cope up with life inside the bio-bubble.

England continued with their rotation policy resting key players as spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali was rested after he played the 2nd Test. Chris Woakes wasn’t available for selection in the playing XI for the fourth and final Test as he left the tour for his pre-planned break.

Chris Woakes of England (REUTERS)
Chris Woakes of England (REUTERS)

Sam Curran, who was rested for the first two matches, was due to fly to Ahmedabad in time for the fourth Test, but instead arrived with the limited-overs squad.

“…England admitted they had asked Moeen Ali to stay on after the second Test. Players can take ownership of these big decisions. That includes the IPL. I understand why players want to play in it. It is so hard in what can be a short career to turn down a lucrative IPL deal. And I also understand why they would want to play in both IPLs in a six-month period this year.”

“But the multi-contracted players could have said: ‘Hold on, the ECB are very good in saying we can do the IPL, I’ll just do one of them. This is a unique year and I’m going to put Tests first.’ Most, if not all, have decided to do both IPLs, and the consequence is that Ashley Giles and the selectors have to play them in all cricket and risk burnout or rotate them, and that weakens the Test side, as we’ve just seen,” said Nasser Hussain.

Nasser Hussain Feels England Have To Put The Defeat To India In Perspective

Writing further, Nasser Hussain called for putting the humbling series defeat in the right perspective considering the arduous challenge posed by India’s “world-class” spinners especially Ravichandran Ashwin and debutant Axar Patel.

“We still have to put this defeat in perspective. Against a formidable India team and two world-class spinners, Ashwin and Axar Patel, in their own conditions, this series is about as tough as it gets for a slightly inexperienced batting line-up,” said Nasser Hussain.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

For his all-around effort (32 wickets and 189 runs), Ravichandran Ashwin walked away with the Man of the Series award. Axar Patel, playing in just his second Test, scalped 11 wickets in the 3rd day-night Test at Ahmedabad to spin a web over the Englishmen. He returned with figures of 6/38 and 5/32 in the 3rd Test.

Axar Patel took 27 scalps in his memorable debut Test series playing only 3 Tests against England. The 5-match T20I series will kick off on March 12 in Ahmedabad.