Ashes 2023: "It Cost England Something Like 138 Runs" - Nasser Hussain On England’s Poor Fielding On Day 1 At Headingley 

Updated - 07 Jul 2023, 12:06 PM

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former captain Nasser Hussain criticized the England players for their subpar fielding performance on the first day of the third Test in the Ashes 2023 series. Nasser Hussain pointed out that Jonny Bairstow, who is making a comeback from injury, might not be fully match-ready yet.

England players struggled on the field as they dropped four catches on the opening day at Headingley on Thursday, July 6. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were responsible for two drops each. Mitchell Marsh’s catch was dropped on 12 runs. Marsh made the most of the chance and scored 118 runs.

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Chris Woakes Bowled Beautifully – Nasser Hussain

In his column for the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain praised the bowling performances of Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.

“I felt for Chris Woakes, who ended up getting three wickets on his comeback and bowled beautifully, and even Mark Wood despite him taking his first five-wicket Test haul in England,” Hussain wrote.

Also read: Ashes 2023: Tom Moody Blasts Headingley Crowd For Booing Steve Smith In His 100th Test

“Twice Woakes had chances put down doing exactly what captain Ben Stokes asked – hitting a full length, and finding the outside edge. In reprieving centurion Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head it cost England something like 138 runs,” he added.

England’s pacers Mark Wood (5/34) and Chris Woakes (3/73) put in brilliant performances to bundle out the opposition for 263 runs. The team recorded 14 drops and a missed stumping in the series, which is the team’s worst start in six years.

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Dropping Catches Is Like A Virus – Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain suggested that Jonny Bairstow’s lack of match practice after his injury could be a contributing factor. The 55-year-old highlighted the importance of having soft hands and a relaxed mindset while fielding in slips.

“All I can say is there’s no specific technical reason I can decipher. Maybe Jonny Bairstow is a little bit undercooked after the injury and his footwork behind the stumps is not as nimble as someone like Alex Carey,” he stated.

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“Also, dropping catches is like a virus. A confidence thing. One goes down, and your hands stiffen up. The best slip fielders I played with Mark Waugh and Nick Knight looked like they were catching an egg, their hands were so soft.

But the moment one or two go down it is almost like you don’t want the ball to come to you and if you’re a bit tense, the ball can bounce off them,” he concluded.

England ended Day 1 of the ongoing Test match with a score of 68/3. Zak Crawley top-scored with 31 runs, while Ben Duckett and Harry Brook contributed 2 and 3 runs, respectively. Joe Root (19) and Jonny Bairstow (1) remained unbeaten at stumps.

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Ashes 2023 Joe Root Jonny Bairstow Nasser Hussain