Former England captain Nasser Hussain has expressed his dissatisfaction at the national team’s rotation policy, saying it was a wrong time to do. The English team have had a packed schedule in 2021 and is only going to turn more later in year as they have an away Ashes series later this year. Along with that, England will also participate in IPL and the T20 World Cup. While Nasser Hussain considers all these factors and sees it valid to take care of the players, he feels that the India tour was not the time for the rotation policy.
England frequently rotated players across four Tests, which were one of the significant reasons that cost them the series in India. The tourists rested keeper-batsman Jos Buttler for the white-ball leg for Ben Foakes, who was outstanding with the gloves but could not play the counter-attacking or the game-changing knocks that Buttler had the potential to. Furthermore, after the first Test, England also rested James Anderson, who was amongst the top performers.
Nasser Hussain agrees that the ECB is right in looking after the players and have a duty to take care of them. However, an Indian Test tour was not an ideal time to rotate and England did not give themselves the best chance by doing so. Nasser Hussain reminded that while Rishabh Pant counter-attacked in Ahmedabad, Jos Buttler sat in a hotel room resting for the limited-overs games was wrong since he could have done the same thing.
“So I agree with and understand the ECB looking after their players. They have a duty of care to them and they have done the right thing in having a policy that considers their mental health. But the issue is when you rotate and, as I’ve said before, this would not have been the time to rotate for me. In golfing terms, a Test series in India is one of your majors. England did not give themselves the best chance to compete by rotating now. Rishabh Pant smashing it all around Ahmedabad while Jos Buttler — an England player capable of doing the same thing — is sitting in a hotel room in the same city, being rested ahead of the white-ball matches, just doesn’t look right,” Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
Jonny Bairstow could have made Test cricket a priority: Nasser Hussain
The cricketer-turned-commentator commented against Jonny Bairstow, who came underprepared in India and barely made a difference. The Chennai-born former England cricketer believes that Bairstow could have opted against rotation, insisting that he is playing well and want to succeed in Tests. Thus, after performing well in Sri Lanka, the Yorkshire batsman fared miserably in India, averaging 7 in four innings.
“Then there’s Jonny Bairstow. He went home after doing well in Sri Lanka and struggled after returning to India for the last two Tests. Bairstow would have had the chance to say: ‘Hold on, I’m playing well, I don’t want to be rotated. I want to make a success of Test cricket,” he added further.