Nasser Hussain

Shane Warne
Shane Warne. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Leg Spin Was A Dying Art Before Shane Warne Burst Onto The Scene – Nasser Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain remembered Shane Warne after his sudden death on Friday as he called him the greatest ever player to play the game. He added that he was always an entertainer on the field.

The legendary spinner passed away on Friday in Thailand at the age of 52. The news left the cricketing fraternity in shock and the tributes have been pouring from all corners of the world.

Shane Warne
Shane Warne. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“For me, he was arguably the greatest cricketer to ever play the game”- Nasser Hussain

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nasser Hussain termed him as the greatest ever to play the game. He also recalled how the England batters had no clue against his ‘flipper’.

For me, he was arguably the greatest cricketer to ever play the game. The game is about entertaining people, and there was never a dull moment when Shane Warne had the ball in his hand. He was absolutely genius.

“Leg spin was a dying art before he burst onto the scene; we had never heard of a ‘flipper’, and then suddenly he used to set us up with it,” Nasser Hussain wrote.

He also recalled how he brilliantly used to set the batters up with his tricks.

“He’d bowl us a ball that was short and you’d think ‘ah, Shane has lost it today, and then the very next ball was the flipper, and it was through us. He was an outstanding cricketer,” he added.

Hussain also remembered the historic Ashes 2005 when England beat mighty Australia by 2-1 in the 5-match series. Shane Warne picked 40 wickets in that series with an average of 19.92 which included two 10-for in the match. He also made some handy contributions with the bat and scored 249 runs in the series with the highest score of 90.

When Australia really needed him in that 2005 Ashes series, when England were all over them, and they were crumbling, there was one Aussie that stood up and said ‘not today’.

“He got wickets by the shed load; he got runs by the shed load too, and he showed a lot of fight and a lot of character. Some people are brilliant at the game; some people are genius; some people have fight. Shane Warne had everything in abundance,” Hussain wrote.

Warne picked 195 wickets in 36 Tests against England which included 11 fifers.

Also read When You Are On 195-196, Then You Think Twice – Dinesh Karthik Defends India’s Declaration

Nasser Hussain wants Ricky Ponting to be England's head coach | Courtesy: Ricky Ponting/Insta - Nasser Husain/Twitter
Nasser Hussain wants Ricky Ponting to be England's head coach | Courtesy: Ricky Ponting/Insta - Nasser Husain/Twitter
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Nasser Hussain And David Lloyd Urged England To Appoint Ricky Ponting As England Head Coach After Ashes 2021/22 Drubbing

Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd have urged England to appoint Australia’s great Ricky Ponting as head coach, following a dismal Ashes performance against the Aussies down under.

England has been blown away by their old rivals, and a humiliating 146-run defeat in the fifth and final Test in Hobart was the final nail in the coffin, in a devastating 4-0 series defeat.

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

Nasser Hussain: England Should Move Away From Chris Silverwood And Ricky Ponting Is The Alternative

Plenty of questions has understandably been asked about the England setup from top to bottom, with head coach Chris Silverwood the man taking most of the scrutiny. Following the crushing defeat, many have called for Silverwood to be replaced as head coach, and former England ex-captains Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd believe former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is the right man for the job.

Discussing where England’s Test team go from here ahead of the upcoming Test series in West Indies, Nasser Hussain believes it is the right time for Chris Silverwood to step aside.

He said: “I like Chris Silverwood and half his reign has come in Covid bubbles. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for that… But too many mistakes have been made and Silverwood is accountable because of the extra responsibility he has for selection. You can look at the system but county cricket doesn’t make you bat first at Brisbane and leave Broad and Anderson out on a green Gabba pitch.”

“You can’t take the same management team to the Caribbean and tell them to carry on as if nothing has happened. With a heavy heart I say move away from Silverwood.”

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.

And, in replacement Nasser Hussain believes Ricky Ponting should be the man England looks to.

“An alternative? I like Ricky Ponting. Everything I see about him impresses me,” he added.

“He might not have a lot of international coaching experience but he’s got a great cricket brain. There are a few out there — unfortunately, not many of them English. Justin Langer might be available soon, too, so you never know! I would just about stay with Joe Root.”

Meanwhile, England’s current coach Chris Silverwood had said that he is a good coach and wants to continue in the role. However, his position is under scrutiny after the Ashes debacle.

Nasser Hussain certainly believes the former Australian skipper the perfect replacement for Chris Silverwood.

David Lloyd Agrees With Nasser Hussain That Ricky Ponting Is Perfect As England Coach If He’s Available

The former England captain’s colleague David Lloyd agreed, describing Ricky Ponting as the ‘perfect’ replacement to come in.

He commented: “If Ponting is available he’d be perfect. He cares about cricket and cricketers, he knows the game inside out and has gravitas.”

Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter

Like Nasser Hussain though, David Lloyd did have sympathies with Chris Silverwood and does believe he should remain in place for the rest of the winter.

The 74-year-old continued: “I’d go with the same two [for the tour of West Indies], Silverwood and Root. But Nass, if you want to go for Ponting, I’m with you. I will say the circumstances for Silverwood have been unprecedented so I’d give him the rest of the winter.”

Nasser Hussain sympathized with Chris Silverwood who has had to play the role of a coach as well as a selector. But, having seen Chris Silverwood make some blunders in team selection, Nasser Hussain wants the England head coach to move on.

Ricky Ponting hasn’t yet been the head coach of an international team but has had the experience of coaching the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals. The ex-Australia captain was also a part of the Australian men’s national team’s support staff at the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE.

A number of changes are expected to be made in the England Test team, be it in terms of the selection of players or the roles of a few. The next assignment of the England team is a 5-match T20I series against West Indies.

Chris Silverwood Getty Images
Chris Silverwood Getty Images
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Chris Silverwood Insists To Stay On As England Coach Despite Ashes 2021/22 Defeat

Chris Silverwood has insisted he wants to stay on as England head coach, despite his team’s 4-0 Ashes drubbing – but admitted he could have shown his teeth more to the players amid accusations of dressing-room coziness.

Since beating India at Chennai last February, England has lost 10 Tests out of 14 and won only one – their worst sequence for 25 years. That has left Chris Silverwood’s fate dependent both on the post-series report by team managing director Ashley Giles and the views of ECB chief executive Tom Harrison and other members of the performance cricket committee, chaired by Andrew Strauss.

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.

Chris Silverwood Admits That His Job Is Going To Be Under Scrutiny After Abject 2021/22 Ashes Loss

Tom Harrison is believed to have been unimpressed by what he has found during his three weeks in Australia, with England’s worst Ashes batting display since the 1950s compounded by a loss of confidence among the players in Chris Silverwood’s ability, and poor levels of communication. Before one Test, the coach sat down to tell a player he had been dropped, only for the player to say he had already read of his demise in a newspaper.

But Chris Silverwood is adamant that, with the help of a reformed domestic structure that places more emphasis on the red-ball game, he can help turn England’s fortunes around.

‘My job is going to be under scrutiny,’ Chris Silverwood said. ‘But I would love to help effect those changes within the county structures, and I would like to put some of this right. I think I’m a good coach and I would love to be given that opportunity, but there are certain things that are out of my hands at the moment.’

With less than six weeks before England flies to the Caribbean for a three-Test series, Tom Harrison and Andrew Strauss have little time to make their recommendations to the ECB board.

But whoever emerges as head coach may find their powers diluted, with Chris Silverwood struggling to balance day-to-day coaching with the dual demands of the Test and white-ball teams, plus the role of the chief selector. Assistant coaches such as Paul Collingwood, who is in charge of the T20 team’s forthcoming tour of the Caribbean, and Graham Thorpe may be asked to take on greater responsibility.

Paul Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals and 36 T20 for England.© AFP
Paul Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals, and 36 T20 for England.© AFP

The hierarchy must also decide whether a combination of Joe Root and Chris Silverwood lacks a bad-cop figure to tell the players to home truths, with Joe Root admitting after England lost at Hobart inside three days that there might be times where we need to get a little bit harder.

Chris Silverwood said: ‘With the situation we’ve been living in, I try to work through things with them, rather than shout or growl. But there will be aspects I’ve got to reflect on, because I’m not a finished article as a coach and I want to get better all the time. I’m not afraid to show my teeth, but you sometimes wonder in hindsight whether I should do it more. But then does it make it less effective? I don’t know.’

The farcical conclusion to the fifth Test on Sunday may not work in his favour. England’s last five wickets fell amid a flurry of slogs, misjudgments, and apathy, typified by last man Ollie Robinson, who backed away the first ball to Pat Cummins and lost his middle stump. Chris Silverwood, though, put the surrender down to tiredness.

‘I believe they’re still playing for us,’ Chris Silverwood said. ‘I think what we saw was players that are tired. It was hard to watch. At times, you were thinking, just get stuck in. Let’s show that fight, but we didn’t have that. And there is no point saying we did, because we clearly didn’t. We’ve got to get to the bottom of why that is, and try to make a difference.’

For the time being, Chris Silverwood said he would ‘start planning for the West Indies’ which means considering options outside the 16 who played at least one Test in Australia, where perhaps only Mark Wood and to a lesser extent Zak Crawley emerged with their reputations enhanced.

‘We’ve certainly got to look at what is out there as well,’ said Silverwood. ‘One of the things I will be doing is speaking to the scouts, the performance director. What have we got out there? Do we need to make changes?’

England knew they could not sink any lower when they were demolished for 51 by West Indies in Jamaica in 2009. They vowed to put things right and two years later were crowned the best Test team in the world.

Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher came together in 1999 with England ranked the worst of the lot and began the recovery that was to culminate with the fabled 2005 Ashes victory under Duncan Fletcher and Michael Vaughan. The board has been asleep at the wheel while England is facing up to a year when they will play more international cricket than ever before with their players in the mood to rebel against any further Covid bubbles and restrictions.

Joe Root’s captaincy race is run, Chris Silverwood has to pay the price for being given too much responsibility for coaching and selection. Joe Root cannot survive simply because there is no one else. He has overseen three Ashes without success after admitting before this series that his legacy would be judged by this one.  He needs to go back to the ranks and concentrate on restoring the very high batting levels misplaced during this series.

The one outstanding candidate to replace Joe Root is Ben Stokes. For all the reservations many, including this observer, have about overloading such an important player, Ben Stokes could do the job with one important proviso — he would have to give up T20s, the one format where he has never fulfilled his potential which includes the IPL.

If England’s top players are serious about rescuing Test cricket, they must give up a franchise tournament that in itself undermines first-class cricket by taking players away from the red-ball game at the start of each season. There should be a new coach in place by the time England plays their next Test in Antigua in March too.

Duncan Fletcher is the obvious man for the Test job. Paul Collingwood can take charge of a white-ball machine that shows no signs of malfunctioning under captain Eoin Morgan. That move led to the huge success of the 2019 World Cup but it has gone too far now.

Andrew Strauss, who has made a part-time return to administration as chair of the ECB cricket committee, is the best person to redress the balance. He should return to his old job at Ashley Giles’ expense or even replace Tom Harrison. England is missing the leadership of a character like Nasser Hussain to lead them into Tests.

Joe Root Questions How To Provide Incentives In County

Joe Root articulated what has to happen in the short term to ignite that red-ball reset while at his lowest ebb in the aftermath of the pitiful Hobart batting collapse and a three-day last Test defeat.

“What incentives are there in the County Championship to open the batting?’ he asked. ‘What incentives are there to be a spinner or to bowl fast? Anyone coming into Test cricket is doing it in spite of county cricket, not because of it.”

“How do we provide those incentives? We could produce better wickets, hopefully by playing at a better time of year. We could flatten the seam on the ball, maybe by giving our seamers a Kookaburra to work with. That would nullify running in and bowling at 70 miles per hour while encouraging bowlers to create new angles and find different ways to take wickets. And give spinners the chance to bowl in the first half of the season.”

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root understands the need for changes but it looks like he won’t be the one making them.

“Then we could double the batting points in a Championship game and incentivise first innings leads above 400. When do our young batters ever go out under the pressure of replying to 450-500? When do they have to save a match in spinning conditions? There are lots of things we could change quite quickly but for now it’s how we react to this Ashes. Can we use this experience when we’re hurting to grow and come back as better players?”

England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.  However, they managed to avoid the 5-0 whitewash with a hard-fought draw in the fourth Test at Sydney Cricket Ground. Also, England lost the last match of the series by 146 runs at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart

England, PTI
England, PTI
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Nasser Hussain Praises England For Their Commendable Effort To Draw 4th Ashes 2021/22 Test

Nasser Hussain feels Joe Root-led England did a commendable job in drawing the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. Nasser Hussain lauded England for its defiant display despite enduring several hardships.

England successfully avoided a 4-0 result in Sydney on day five as James Anderson and Stuart Broad ensured a thrilling draw. Although the tourists had a minor wobble after looking comfortable at one stage, their experienced pair had other plans. They batted for 102 overs to save the Test.

Nasser Hussain. (Image Credits: Getty)
Nasser Hussain. (Image Credits: Getty)

Nasser Hussain: England’s Performance In The 4th Test Was Commendable As They Were Affected By Covid-19, Were 3-0 Down And Key Players Were Injured

Nasser Hussain stated England’s efforts deserved praise amid injuries and the coaching staff affected with COVID-19. The 53-year old feared another hammering when England was 36-4 in the first innings, hence a draw was a big step forward.

He wrote: “They have been through a lot and have been getting hammered because of their performances in this Ashes. So to have the strength to put on that performance at 3-0 down, without half their coaching staff and with injuries to key players, is commendable.”

Joe Root, Jos Buttler , ECB Twitter
Joe Root, Jos Buttler, ECB Twitter

“It did look like the whitewash was inevitable when England were 36 for four in their first innings, the true low point of this tour, and England had to dig very deep to pull that escape off. Yes, it’s only a draw and, yes, England were nine down at the close but it was very pleasing for all England fans to finally have something to be happy about.”

It was the seventh time in Test history that England’s tenth-wicket partnership saved them. It’s worth noting that Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow all played through the pain of injuries. Skipper Joe Root also declared Jos Buttler’s unavailability for the final Test. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Nasser Hussain: The Highlight Was The Performance Of Zak Crawley On 5th Day

Nasser Hussain shed light on opener Zak Crawley’s 77, observing that his timing and shot selection was flawless. He felt the youngster showed the blueprint to batting in Australia.

“For me the highlight on Sunday was the performance of Zak Crawley. Crawley was putting away anything loose with grace, style and timing in his 77 and that fluency was great to see after all England’s, and his own, problems at the top of the order. And it showed you cannot have a top three that are purely looking to survive. You have to counter-punch, look to be aggressive and attack these Aussies.”

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test. The fifth and final Ashes Test starts on January 14 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

Zak Crawley smashed a brilliant 77 runs off 100 balls including 13 boundaries. Zak Crawley made a promising start to his career with a stellar 267 against Pakistan at Southampton. Although he averaged 52.73 amassing 580 runs in 7 Tests in 2020, his average dipped to a low in 2021, where he averaged a mere 10.81 managing only 173 runs in 8 Tests. He will want to silence his critics in 2022.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

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Nasser Hussain Said England’s Test Cricket Has Been Shambles Throughout 2021

Nasser Hussain, the former England captain has hit out at Joe Root and co. for failing to put up any sort of resistance in the first three Ashes Tests and conceding the series without a fight. However, Nasser Hussain added that England’s shambolic show was not a shock as they had struggled in Tests all year.

England crumbled to an embarrassing 68 all-out in their second innings on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test. Australia registered a thumping triumph by an innings and 14 runs and retained the Ashes by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead.

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

Nasser Hussain Not Shocked With Ashes Loss

Reviewing England’s performance in his column, Nasser Hussain admitted that the result wasn’t surprising since the visitors weren’t well-prepared for the challenge.

The former England skipper stated: “This is no news flash or shock. With the exception of that wonderful victory by Andrew Strauss’s team England have invariably struggled in Australia. But this Ashes has been a particular shambles and England have not given themselves the best chance to be successful. Their Test cricket has been a shambles all year.”

England’s batting unit again collapsed for a below-par total after Australia inserted the visitors in. The tourists managed only 185, with captain Joe Root being the only one to make a half-century. While England made four changes, including two in the batting unit, that hardly made a difference on the opening day of the third Test.
Marcus Harris made a battling 76 off 189 balls as he top-scored as Australia scored 267 in their first essay taking a first-innings lead of 82 runs, but England lost the plot completely after scoring only 68, thereby losing by an innings and 14 runs.

Nasser Hussain added in his column: “Yet this does seem worse than the two 5-0s and the 4-0 of the last 15 years because it has been coming for some time now and the point has clearly arrived for English cricket to have a good, long, hard look at itself.”

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

The 53-year-old termed England’s batters the biggest culprits of the loss as their technique and application were brutally exposed by Australia’s quality bowling attack.

Nasser Hussain pointed out: “Look at the damning stat that extras have been England’s third highest runscorer this year. That tells you everything about the discrepancy between Joe Root and the rest and shows exactly where our red-ball batting is.”

The former cricketer added: “Those issues have been there for some time even for the best of them. I watched online when England had their only intra-squad game in Australia before the first Test and it was notable how Ben Stokes who, along with Root has the best technique in the England side, suddenly had massive movements back in his crease.”

England captain Joe Root is the leading run-getter in the ongoing Ashes, having scored 253 runs at an average of 42.16. However, barring Dawid Malan (202), no other English batter has come close to scoring 200 runs.

Nasser Hussain: Heaven Forbid What Will Happen To England When James Anderson And Stuart Broad Retire

Analyzing what the future holds for England’s Test team, Nasser Hussain stressed the fact that they failed to make an impact despite having three of their all-time best in the squad – Joe Root, James Anderson, and Stuart Broad.

Nasser Hussain wrote: “England have over-complicated things and messed it all up at a time when they have at their disposal three of their best Test cricketers of all-time in Root, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. Heaven forbid what will happen when Anderson and Broad go.”

England Test skipper Joe Root backs James Anderson , Twitter
England Test skipper Joe Root backs James Anderson, Twitter

The former England captain concluded that England has plenty of soul-searching to do in the wake of the Ashes disaster, where they have lost the Test series 3-0 with 2 more Tests left. Pat Cummins ripped through the top order by lunch on Day 1 and Nathan Lyon matched his captain’s haul of 3 for 36 while Scott Boland picked 6 scalps conceding only 7 runs in the 2nd innings.

Nasser Hussain stated: “In the short-term England have to somehow salvage as much pride as possible in these last two Tests. Then there will be a lot of soul-searching before they can emerge from this crisis. Where the English game goes from here with our red-ball batting is the biggest question of all.”

The 4th Ashes Test of the ongoing series will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 5.

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England’s Batting Collapses Are Too Frequent And They Can’t Blame On The Pitch Or The Toss- Nasser Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain slammed England for another dismal performance on the first day of the Ashes as the visitors were bowled out for 185.

England is currently trailing by 0-2 in the series and now they have to win the remaining three tests to regain the Ashes. But it’s looking unlikely as the hosts already scored 61/1 at the close of the first day’s play.

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

England made as many as 4 changes in the XI for this do-or-die game but it didn’t turn their fortunes at least on the day of the Melbourne Test. Barring a fifty from the captain Joe Root, there wasn’t much to show in England’s scorecard. Reviewing the first day’s play, former England captain Nasser Hussain was quite critical of Joe Root & Co.

“If it were a one-off you could blame the sub-par total of 185 on the pitch or the toss but it is happening all too often,” wrote Nasser Hussain in his column for the Daily Mail.

Hussain also pointed out how some unforced errors from England batters cost them at a crucial time.

The biggest concern was the mixture of poor technique – Hameed was rooted to his crease and played with low hands and Crawley’s bat came across the line – and poor shots, especially from the senior players. Notably, Ben Stokes trying to ramp Cameron Green over the slip cordon and Jos Buttler coming down to Nathan Lyon in the over before tea.”

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

They’ve got pretty much everything wrong- Vaughan

However, Hussain showed some sympathy for England bowlers as they couldn’t do much damage on a spicy pitch.

Yet again England were left on the first day with the bowlers needing to bail them out of trouble. They are constantly bowling without runs on the board and when that happens there can be a tendency for bowlers to become a bit defensive and not want to go for boundaries. Or then suddenly go searching for wickets because they are chasing the game,” Hussain wrote.

Another former England captain Michael Vaughan also opined similar thoughts as he blamed their tactics and selections for the dismal first day.

So far the only thing they’ve done right on the trip is turn up on time. They’ve got pretty much everything wrong – selection, tactics have not quite been right.” Vaughan spoke to Fox Sports.

Also read Nick Compton Slams England’s Selections For Ashes 2021/22 Before Must Win 3rd Boxing Day Test

England, PTI
England, PTI
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Nasser Hussain Reckons There’s An Issue With England’s Batting System And Adds There’s No Quick Fix

Nasser Hussain, the former England captain lashed out at the English batters for their below-par show on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test. Nasser Hussain said England’s struggles extend beyond their technical shortcomings, and the ECB must revamp the entire system.

England’s batting unit again collapsed for a below-par total after Australia inserted the visitors in. The tourists managed only 185, with captain Joe Root being the only one to make a half-century. In response, Australia reached 61-1 by the close of play on Day 1, thanks to David Warner’s quick-fire 38.

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

Nasser Hussain: England Have To Look At The Quality Of Batting Coming Through

Nasser Hussain feels the quality of batters needs to be addressed, as the English system has loopholes. Reflecting how England solved their white-ball woes in 2015, Nasser Hussain highlighted the need for a similar overhaul in red-ball cricket.

“There’s clearly an issue with our system, and there’s no quick fix. We have to look at the quality of batting coming through. In defence of county cricket, it should be said that when England are playing well they take the credit and when things are bad it’s the fault of the counties, but England addressed their problems with the white ball game in 2015 to spectacular effect, and now we have to do the same with the red ball game.”

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

While England made four changes, including two in the batting unit, that hardly made a difference on the opening day of the third Test. Zak Crawley(12) and Jonny Bairstow(35) started promisingly, but couldn’t convert their starts into notable scores while Joe Root (50) was the top scorer yet again.

23-year-old Zak Crawley averages just 27.74 from 16 Tests which is only fractionally less than his first-class average of 31.33. They are hardly numbers to demand Test selection. After the first eight Tests, in which his constant improvement was capped by that 267 against Pakistan, he averaged 48.41. In 2021, he averages 11.2 from 8 Tests but yet was called up to replace Rory Burns.

Nasser Hussain: England Bowlers Become A Bit Defensive As They Are Constantly Bowling Without Much Runs On The Board

Nasser Hussain said that bowlers bowl defensively when they have fewer runs on the board, which was evident with England. The 53-year old believes the day couldn’t have gone any worse for Joe Root-led England.

“They are constantly bowling without runs on the board, and when that happens, there can be a tendency for bowlers to become a bit defensive and not want to go for boundaries. Or then suddenly go searching for wickets because they are chasing the game.”

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

“It was because England only had 185 on the field that Root immediately became defensive. If they had managed even 300, they could have attacked that much more, but I do feel for the bowlers. A Boxing Day I’m afraid to forget for England.”

James Anderson was the only wicket-taker on day one for England. They will need many more on the second day to keep their stuttering Ashes’ 2021/22 hopes alive.

England had made four changes to their side that lost by 275 runs in Adelaide to concede a 2-0 lead in the series, but again their batters struggled as Pat Cummins ripped through the top order by lunch on Day 1 and Nathan Lyon matched his captain’s haul of 3 for 36 as England succumbed for under 200 runs for the 12th time this year.

Marcus Harris made a battling 76 off 189 balls as he top-scored as Australia scored 267 in their first essay taking a first-innings lead of 82 runs. James Anderson was the pick of England bowlers picking 4 scalps while Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood picked 2 apiece.

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

England Didn’t Make Any Progress In Past 4 Years, Feels Nasser Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain stated that the England team had hit the lowest point in terms of their batting show in the first two Tests. Hussain also opined that they didn’t learn anything from their past two tours down under.

On Monday, England lost the second Test match by 275 runs and are trailing in the series by 0-2. Though on the final day, the visitors fought well as Jos Buttler and other lower-order batters made Aussie bowlers toil hard for each wicket and stretched the game to the final session. However, that didn’t prove enough as the visitors bowled out in 113.1 overs.

England Didn't Make Any Progress In Past 4 Years, Feels Nasser Hussain 1
Nasser Hussain (File photo)

Speaking to Daily Mail, the former England captain hit out their poor batting show and also criticized the team management’s decision-making.

“This Test had a very similar scorecard to Adelaide 2017. The decision-making off the field has been more indifferent this time. There was the toss in Brisbane and not picking Jimmy Anderson or Stuart Broad. Then going to Adelaide and selecting five medium-fast right armers with no variation and no spinner. And the batting is so vulnerable. It is in a bad place.” Nasser Hussain stated.

“I don’t know about four years ago, but I can’t think of a lower point for English cricket’s Test batting. That’s the issue.” he added further.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Another former English cricketer David Lloyd expressed a similar opinion, Also he believes that the hosts are much better prepared for the highly anticipated battle and he isn’t much optimistic about England’s chances in the remaining three tests.

“It’s just a pattern of making the same mistakes. There’s no firepower, using medium-pacers as bowlers, and we’re trying to block our way around Australia as a batting unit. It’s exactly the same as four years ago and the tour before that, with the same results. Australia’s all-round game is staring England in the face. The batters have technique and bat properly while the attack has firepower and a wonderful spinner. We can’t match that.” ‘Bumble’ said.

The third test between these arch-rivals will be played on Boxing Day (26th December) at the iconic ground of Melbourne.

Also Read: “No Point In Making Excuses, The Aussies Are Just A Lot Better”- Michael Vaughan

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Joe Root Shouldn’t Be Criticised For Opting To Bat First After Winning The Toss: Nasser Hussain

Joe Root-the England captain’s decision to bat first on a fresh Gabba pitch drew criticism after his side was bowled out for 147 on Day 1 of the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, however, tried to explain the possible reasons behind Joe Root’s decision.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root Shouldn’t Be Criticized For Opting To Bat First After Winning The Toss As Pat Cummins Too Wanted To Bat First : Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain said one shouldn’t forget that even Australia captain Pat Cummins would have batted first had he won the toss and it was actually a “classic good toss to loss” scenario.

“Before we condemn Joe Root for making the wrong decision at the toss it should be remembered that both captains as the coin went up were going to have a bat. It was a classic ‘good toss to lose’ scenario because Root and Cummins would have known history told them they should probably take the first knock but, looking down at the pitch, their instinct would have been to bowl. That was the issue,” Hussain wrote in his column.

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

England lost the opener, Rory Burns, off the first ball and could never quite recover from the early blow. They were eventually bowled out in just 50.1 overs with Australia’s skipper Pat Cummins picking up a five-wicket haul on his captaincy debut.

Nasser Hussain Wanted Joe Root To Lose The Toss

Nasser Hussain said Joe Root had the difficult task of not looking at the past before deciding what to do at the toss.

“As I said in before the first Test, Root had to forget about what has happened in the past at the Gabba and do what he felt was right on the day. Sometimes you can complicate these things and I certainly did that all those years ago when I tried to reinvent the wheel at Brisbane by bowling first when conditions demanded I should bat. That turned out to be the wrong decision but 147 all-out tells you Root got it wrong by batting this time,” Hussain added.

The former top-order batted admitted that he in fact wanted Joe Root to lose the toss.

“I wanted Root, as an England fan, to lose the toss. I could see the mind-games unfolding in front of me in the build-up to it. It can be forgotten if you bat first and get it wrong but rarely if you bowl,” he said.

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Explaining the rationale behind both captains’ desire to bat first, Nasser Hussain said they might have thought about the match would progress instead of just the first day.

“So those thoughts were sitting on one of Joe’s shoulders but on the other he would have seen a green pitch, rain around, and knowing he has a strong bowling line-up and fragile batting. That battle over what to do would have been going on in his mind.”

“Why did both captains want to bat? They were thinking not just about how the pitch looked on the first day but also how it might develop as the game goes on. And they would know that with a soft pitch on day one indentations would be created and it will quicken up as the game goes on.”
“They would have been thinking about what would happen if the sun comes out and, with the humidity in Brisbane, the probability of cracks widening. You have to think of the second innings as well as a captain ahead of a Test. There are so many grey areas,” he said.

Pat Cummins is playing his first ongoing Test in Ashes 2021/22 as the captain of Australia since Tim Paine stepped down from the role in November after a scandal. Pat Cummins ended with figures of 5/38 in 13.1 overs as Australia made a dream start to the Ashes series, bowling England out on a below-par 147 in the first innings.

Travis Head blasted a rapid-fire century to crush England hopes on the second day of the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba on Thursday. At the close of play on the 2nd day, Australia was 343-7, a lead of 196 on England’s dismal first-innings total of 147. Travis Head was unbeaten on 112 from only 95 balls.

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India Doesn’t Quite Play The Fearless Brand Of Cricket They Are Capable Of Playing In The ICC Events: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain, former England skipper reckons India doesn’t play fearless cricket in ICC events, something which they are extremely capable of being a hugely talented side. India will make an early exit from the T20 World Cup 2021 following their last Super 12 encounter against Namibia on Monday.

New Zealand and Pakistan, the two sides India lost against, have qualified for the semi-finals from Group 2. former England skipper Nasser Hussain opened up on pre-tournament favourites India’s early exit from the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, saying the Virat Kohli-led side is full of talented cricketers but they fail to demonstrate the fearless brand of cricket in ICC events.

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

Nasser Hussain: India Don’t Quite Play The Fearless Brand Of Cricket In ICC Events

Their latest failure means India’s hunt for an ICC crown, which they last won in 2013, continues. According to Nasser Hussain, there is a mental aspect to their game, which is letting them down in multi-nation events. Notably, India failed to reach the semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE after New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi to join Pakistan in the knockouts.

Speaking to t20worldcup.com, Nasser Hussain elaborated: “You have got to go out and express yourself. They (India) have got so much talent. That may be the only thing that’s holding India back in ICC events. They don’t quite play the fearless brand of cricket that they deserve to because they are so talented.”

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI

India got off to a horror start in the T20 World Cup 2021, going down to Pakistan by 10 wickets. Praising Pakistan, Nasser Hussain admitted that the defeat was a massive setback for India.

Nasser Hussain commented: “I had them as favorites. They had been playing IPL here, are a star-studded side. They got a setback in that first game. The way Shaheen Afridi bowled in the powerplay, those two deliveries that Rohit and Rahul got would have got a lot of great cricketers out.”

“That’s sometimes the problem with the Indian side. They are so good at the top, some of the middle-order don’t get much of a hit and suddenly you need a Plan B and that was found wanting.”

The former England captain also opined that India erred with their selection and the decision to split their opening pair for the New Zealand game.

He elaborated: “I see India as a very talented side but sometimes selection wise… Hardik Pandya just playing as a batter alters the balance of the side. Against New Zealand, the idea to split Rohit and Rahul was not a good one.”

India managed only 110 for 7 batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021. The make-shift opening pair of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan managed to add only 11 runs, with Ishan Kishan scoring four off eight balls. New Zealand chased down the score in just 14.3 overs, handing India a massive defeat.

The Indian batsmen Ishan Kishan (4 off 8 balls), Rohit Sharma (14 off 14 balls), KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most against New Zealand, losing the second successive match after the one against Pakistan where Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) failed as openers.

Simon Doull: India Wasn’t At Their Best From The Start

According to former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull, India paid the price for not being at their best from the start of the T20 World Cup 2021.

Expressing surprise at India’s failure to adapt despite the players being in the UAE for the last month or so (for IPL 2021), Simon Doull said: “India had to be at their best from the start and they weren’t. Having been in these conditions for the last month and a half, you might have thought they’d adapted better.”

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“But you can’t take away anything from Pakistan. They were brilliant. India slipped and then New Zealand were outstanding. If you are below your best against top-quality sides you’ll get found out and they were.”

India registered comprehensive wins against Afghanistan and Scotland. However, New Zealand’s triumph over Afghanistan on Sunday ended their slim semi-final qualification hopes.

India cruised to a second consecutive win in the T20 World Cup 2021 as they thumped Scotland by eight wickets in a Group 2 game in Dubai on Friday, chasing 86 run target inside 6.3 overs. India’s batting finally clicked against Afghanistan as they racked up the tournament’s highest total of 210-2 and restricted their opponents to 144-7.

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