Former England captain, Nasser Hussain feels that India has more to lose than England if they lose the remaining Test match of the ongoing series in Ahmedabad. Hussain feels that if Joe Root’s side can rack up a significant first-innings total, then they do stand a chance to level the series.
For India, a loss in the last Test would mean that they would too, after knocking England out, be knocked out of the race to the final of the World Test Championship as then Australia would proceed.
Nasser Hussain opines that the only way England stand a chance to win the last Test, on what is expected to be another low-scoring affair considering the spin-friendly nature of the surface, then the hosts will have to put a big total in their first innings – as they have done in the three previous Tests in Sri Lanka and India before the last couple of games.
“The key for England in this final Test is those first innings runs. They haven’t got past 200 in their last five innings and if they had managed to get there the first time in Ahmedabad, they probably would have gone on to win the Test,” Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“India are still under pressure. If England can get that first innings score, as they had been doing before the last two Tests, and get their second spinner in business — as India have done — there is still hope for Root in this series,” he added.
The batsmen have to regain that elusive batting rhythm: Nasser Hussain
The 52-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator asks the batters to regain their mojo which served them very well before the last two Tests – England overcame the challenges in Sri Lanka and the first Test in India as the batsmen piled up big runs batting around Joe Root. But with the team having not gone past 200 in their last 5 innings, Hussain reckons the batters need to change their strategy, of either blocking or just slogging.
Instead, he advises them to be smarter in picking the bad balls, which are rare from R Ashwin and Axar Patel, and also use their feet, not just for big shots, but also merely for disrupting the bowler’s length.
“They have to regain that elusive batting rhythm and can’t have a policy of block or slog. They have to get the tempo right, know when to sit in and when to attack. They can’t press the panic button and suddenly go for a big shot they don’t usually play. They have to try to use their feet rather than wait in the crease like a sitting duck,” Nasser Hussain further added.