Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that the Joe Root-led visitors were outplayed, out-batted, and out-spun by their Indian counterparts and that the English team must explain how they failed to seize the initiative after having won the first Test by a margin of 227 runs and subsequently got mauled in the last three Tests.
After having taken a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, England were hammered in the last three Tests where they lost by comprehensive margins of 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings and 25 runs.
At the heart of England’s 3-1 mauling was their inability to counter the Indian spin-duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, who walked past their batting line-up on six consecutive occasions that they bowled together since the 1st Test.
While Axar Patel claimed 27 wickets in just three Tests, Ashwin claimed 32 in four games and they claimed as many as seven five-wicket-hauls between them.
”England can have no excuses. They’ve played on three of four different surfaces, they’ve won three of the four tosses, they’ve misread conditions, they’ve rotated their side and since that first Test match they’ve been hammered by 300-odd runs, by 10 wickets and now by an innings and 20-odd runs in this game,” Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
“India have just completely outplayed them, out-batted and definitely out-spun them; their spinners have been in a different league.” he added.
England’s inability to counter spin on turning tracks was once again exposed to the hilt in the four-match series. After having scored 578 in the first innings of the first Test, England managed to post in excess of 200 runs on just one occasion and they failed to notch up a single 50-run partnership since the first innings in Chennai.
Hussain feels that everything will be brushed inside the carpet in a few days but he feels that it shouldn’t be the case given the long-term development of English cricket in Asian conditions and that the players will have to take responsibility for the debacle.
“The point I’m trying to make is that I feel at the end of this series that we’re going to give our cricketers a lot of excuses – ‘it’s county cricket’, ‘it’s rotation’, ‘it’s the pitch’, ‘it’s playing in India’ – players have to take responsibility, they’re the ones who win or lose Test matches,” Hussain said.